As the eldest sibling I did take care them, learned to balance a baby on each hip rather early, and generally doted over them, thought they were the cutest things on earth. But I didn't really know them. In some ways I still don't, but in much the same vein I still love them, am devoted to them in my heart, and I would do anything I could to help them. However I doubt they would ever come to me in an emergency, I mean they have each other.
In my mid to late teens they were still very young and just saw me, I think, as an oddity. I didn't dress like their friends, right after graduating high school I left home, and I moved - a lot. To further add to their "who is she and how are we related??", I came out as a lesbian. Initially I think they tried to ignore this as much as possible. In fairness they were about 12 when I told them, and anyone's sexuality is an odd thing to cope with at that point. Mostly their response was silence, except to ask me to not do PDAs with my girlfriend when we were out together. A few years later it seemed that it was conveniently cool to have a lesbian sister, then it just was blase. Fine by me.
Over the years it is my sister and I who have more of a connection though when they were young I had been sure it was my brother and I who would get closer and stay that way. I have never had an argument with either sibling, a side benefit of largely having little to do with each other, I suppose. But neither do I have more than a handful of great memories of us together, which is a huge sadness some days for me.
Tonight I had dinner at my sister's new place (I never saw the last one though she lived there 11 years) that she shares with her beau, who I finally met. It was nice to finally see her in her space. It was a lovely evening of catching up, hearing about my brother's romantic woes (which sadden me), learning what is up with her mother, commiserating on our father's peccadilloes. It's nice to see her as she actually is, an adult woman dealing with a mature relationship, figuring out next steps. I have no illusions of us suddenly being in regular contact but it is a nice thing to be peers the last few years, and tonight was a good reminder of how family and friends can be one in the same, very different, or how friends become family, but somehow actual family tugs at our hearts in different ways no matter the time spent together.