Sibling rivalry can be a bitch when we’re growing up, although it does serve some purposes.
It toughens us up, prepares us for personality clashes that we may have to deal with later in life, and generally metamorphoses into lifelong familial friendship.
Sometimes, however, it can be a battle reaching the good part, the phase when we finally reach the maturity to let go of all that jealousy, competition and pervading angst.
I was always quite envious of the super-intelligence of one of my sisters, but I console myself with memories of terrorising her with creepy-crawlies when we were younger. I justify those times as preparing her for the perils of wildlife. She may be a lawyer one day, but she’ll still be a scaredy lawyer who is terrified of bugs.
Needless to say, she has never been to Australia.
Even without the complication of ADHD, Kurt and NC* have always been very different in terms of,… just about everything.
Somehow, when the DNA and chromosomes were getting it together in utero, they created two starkly different embryos.
One turned out to be a scientist in the making and one a potential
inmate of Her Majesty’s Service rock star.
It never ceases to amaze me how two parents can create such polar opposite offspring.
NC, our potential scientist, has excelled in almost everything she does – although she certainly had a hyperactive bitch switch for the first ten years of her life, still can’t sing or keep her bedroom tidy. She worked diligently through school towards her HSC and has just completed her first exams at uni.
Our potential rock star, Kurt, has lived through education the only way that true rock stars can – by avoiding it and farting in the face of its rules as much as possible.
So why is it that the stories surrounding the budding rockstar and the shenanigans of his non-conformity are much more interesting than the ones about NC, her rocks and achievements?
Because everyone loves a rogue. Buried deep within our psyche is a secret desire to be brave enough to buck the system too, to spit at conformity, take risks and live life on the edge.
Although it’s not always the case. There is a wonderful story that Chris Martin, lead singer of Coldplay, tells when asked about how proud his parents are of him. Apparently, a fellow guest once asked his father at a dinner party what his two sons did for a living.
‘One is a merchant banker and one is the lead singer of an international band,’ he replied.
‘Which bank?’ asked the guest.
Anyway, NC’s nose is a little out of joint at the moment. She feels, (justifiably), that Kurt gets all the attention and that her achievements go unnoticed.
Kurt doesn’t only get attention for his music. Many of you will know if you read my blog that we have been living on a knife-edge this past few months, as we wade through puberty with an ADHD son.
But we’ve all felt what NC is feeling right now. We’ve all been irked by the sibling who commands more attention.
The truth is that Kurt does receive a lot of attention, and if I’m honest, the old man and I do take NC’s success for granted. Each time that Kurt gets into his latest scrape at school or commits his latest crime challenging every manual ever written about teenagers, our consolation is – ‘well at least we have NC!’
But we probably don’t tell her often enough.
Unfortunately for NC, rock music is just far more glamorous than rocks.
When Kurt sings I do become impassioned, because music has the ability to reach into our souls, especially when it emanates from such a tortured soul. When NC tries to talk about thrusters or momentum with me, my eyes glaze over and all I can think about is sex.
Indulging Kurt’s passion is just easier. It involves fun things like going to gigs and perving on hot young musicians; indulging NC’s passion involves museums (yawn!), formulae and pretending to be more intelligent than I am.
I really want to share her passion, but it’s just not within me to be that mature. I’m a creative not a scientist.
Whereas I can pick out a good song or lyrics that inspire me, I still can’t explain gravity other than by using my boobs as an example.
I’ve always been much better at dumbing down.
And it hurts to know that NC is fundamentally disappointed in me.
What she doesn’t understand is that rocks and rock music might be like chalk and cheese, but diversity is what makes life interesting and fulfilling.
What can I do to show NC how proud we are of her?