Since 1997, April 10 has been recognized in some parts of the United States as the unofficial holiday called Siblings Day!

If you have brothers and sisters, then today is the day to acknowledge them and to celebrate that special bond you share.

Though we may not know it while we’re growing up, siblings are our first built-in best friends. That’s what I tell my daughters. After all, you go through life together in your formative years, for better or worse.

I have a total of 12 siblings.

I always say this when playing the “Two truths and a lie” game and people almost always think this fact is the lie!

Sounds trivial, but it’s true: my 12 siblings and I share the same father.

I also happen to share a birthday with one of my older brothers. We like to joke that we’re twins born exactly 7 years apart!

From time to time, I’ll get news about my siblings through random Facebook updates. But for the most part, news about my siblings funnels through our doting, yet diligent aunties on my father’s side. They don’t have kids of their own, so instead, they keep tabs on all of us, their beloved nieces and nephews.

This morning, I reached out to my younger brother. He and I have the same Mom so he is the sibling I’m closest to since we grew up together.

Although he is younger than me, my brother is wise beyond his years. Always logical, he is the voice of reason in our family. He’s also one of the hardest working people I know. Even while working full time, he went to college, then successfully completed grad school, too! It was his strong work ethic, will, and determination that inspired me to go back to grad school.

So… I wished my brother a Happy Siblings Day. His response? “What? Is that a thing? OK, happy sibs day!”

Typical kid brother reply, isn’t it? But it was the perfect response. Would you expect anything less from your first built-in best friend?

My brother and me at Golden Gate Bridge Vista Point (1979)