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  • Writer's pictureerikaraskin

In Honor Of Irreverence And National Sibling Day

Updated: Apr 14

The majestic Rev. William Barber received an award given in our dad's name for his unflinching commitment to ending poverty. When my brother presented the plaque, he said: You are now an honorary Raskin. Which means you can come over anytime and get made fun of.

While Dr. Barber looked confused, people who know us better raised nary an eyebrow.

Never Leave The Room is the clan motto at Thanksgiving, Sunday Brunch and during hospital visiting hours. Once a particular sib-in-law got mad at various intra-familial responses to some Facebook post. She began unfriending the group with a vengeance. While it proved temporary, it was very, very funny given the ICU setting where the status changes were noted one after the other.

Our love language has a kick.

Even big news is delivered in wisecracks. An impending grandbaby was recently announced at a birthday meal when my sibling demanded, seemingly apropos of nothing: Are you pregnant?

Me: What?

Him: I've been hearing whispers all morning.

Me: Rude.

(Turns out my son and his girlfriend had something to share with the group.)

In truth, we pretty much always know what's going on in each other's lives (if not directly from the source then from a cousin, offspring or nibling sworn to secrecy.)

A family of competitive story tellers, we put to votes the better rendition of the same narrative. Lobbying takes place, particular attention paid to the U10s. Their support is gold.

One of the next gen cousins who has only recently given up diapers is capable of directing a heat seeking taunt with the skilled precision of a much older family member.

A recent one-liner got a lot of attention. It occurred when the preschooler listened to a relative lament a rough recess on the playground.

5-year-old: Then after everything bad that already happened, Wyatt wouldn't let me play with him on the slide!

2-year-old, who's never met Wyatt: Well, I had a great day. Especially after Wyatt came to my school and asked me to go down the slide with him.

After the exchange the toddler was put forward as the funniest in the family. My 20-something nephew said he'd have to see the rest of his cousin's material before committing support.

(Which makes sense.)

The flipside to the chronic digs is the unadulterated joy over our loved ones' new relationships, jobs and puppies. A deep vein of support runs between us.

Recently after the passing of one of the family dogs, an announcement was sent out en masse. The heartfelt condolences grew naturally into a roll call listing each other's pets who'd gone before him.

It was nice.

Until somebody made the first disparaging comment about a long-gone companion's penchant for leg-humping.

Then it was on.


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