National Siblings Day

I didn’t know it was National Siblings Day until I saw it on Facebook tonight, so figured I’d share a few memories.  I have 2 sisters and a brother and I happen to love them all a lot.  They’re smart and funny, interesting and witty, and I immediately feel at home when I’m with them.

When we Schmidt’s get together, the room practically levitates with all the energy.  We all talk.  A lot.

My kids point that out to me whenever we get together.  “You all talk a lot.”  Implying of course, that we talk too much.  Thanks, kids.  Point taken and noted.

 Can we help it if we have a lot to say to each other when we catch up during our few and far between visits (we all live in different states)?

We used to get Christmas card pictures done each year.

My dad worked for the Singer Sewing Machine Company and my mom made all of our clothes when we were young.

All of them.  She made those dresses up above.  And the shorts outfits below.  Egads.

Somebody thought those sunglasses were a good idea, not sure why.  Eddie was obviously trying to get away from all the estrogen.  And us girls sure don’t look all that happy either.  We probably just got yelled at by my mother.

She sewed so much that one summer when we ran out of corn on the cob (my all time favorite as a little girl) I turned to her at the kitchen table and said “Well, can’t you just make some more?”  My mom said, “But we don’t have anymore, Claudia.”  To which I replied, “So can’t you just make some more on the sewing machine?”  My parents got quite a kick out of that.

I thought everything came from the sewing machine.  She was always sewing away on it, when she wasn’t doing school work for her full time job as the Chairman of the English department in Mother Seton High School.

Yes. She was a busy woman.  And on top of all that, she had Multiple Sclerosis, only never told anyone, including my father, until I was 31.  So growing up in our house was interesting, to say the least. There were a lot of secrets.

Holy moly, this looks so scary – who were these crazy people?!  And why were they wearing those odd clothes?

My father was actually very handsome, although he looks like a mass murderer in the picture above. He was very tall and we all loved it when he’d pick us up and stand us on his hand so we could touch the ceiling.

The two of them both smoked like crazy when we were young.  So weird to think of that, because of what we know now about how bad smoking is for you.  I remember my father sitting in his chair in the family room after work, smoking his cigarette while my mother and I would be making dinner and setting the table.  It was all very Mad Men-ish.

One of my favorite pictures of all of us from about 10 years ago.

We were always referred to as “The girls and Eddie” by our parents and relatives.  It was kind of “us against our parents” growing up so we all became very close as I suppose most kids did growing up in the  60’s and 70’s before people went to therapists or worked family stuff out.  I don’t think we could have made it through intact without having each other to rely on.

It was dysfunctional and complicated and one of these days I’ll write a book about it, but it sure makes for a lot of fun to talk about when the 4 of us all get together now.

There’s so much common thread running through our lives, the back story of all the events that occurred when we were kids.  Whenever we get together we can’t stop bringing up stories about what it was like to grow up with our parents — Mary and Tony.  I guess every family has their own history.

I wish we lived closer to each other.  Happy National Siblings Day, Mary-Kate, Sue and Eddie.


  1. says

    I loved this, Claudia. You did a great job of describing your family.

    Those photos are great! I think we all took ones like them. But my mom couldn’t sew a button….

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