Dad has two brothers and one sister.
Mum has one sister and three brothers.
I have one brother and one sister.
I have always felt so lucky to have one of each.
Dad's sister never had a sister and longed for a little girl.
She lived right next door on the farm until she was married when I was almost 5.
So until then I was her little girl.
She never did have her own.
She had two beautiful boys and loves them with all her heart.
She is a wonderful mother to her boys.
I'd always imagined I'd have a girl someday.
I thought my first was a girl while I was pregnant.
But when the doctor said, "It's a boy", I couldn't have been more thrilled.
I kept thinking to myself, why did I want a girl so much? There's nothing better than a baby boy.
I was besotted with him.
And then when I was pregnant with our second baby I thought it would be lovely to have a girl, and I hoped I would, but I knew how wonderful baby boys were and would have been just as happy with two boys.
I thought of all the women I knew who had two boys and how happy they were, like my aunty (and Princess Diana).
But when I got my baby girl, I was elated.
The midwife said, "It's a girl."
I said, "Are you sure."
She said, "Look, there's no doodle."
I said, "I can buy pink stuff."
The doctor said, "Did you just say you can buy pink stuff?"
I felt so lucky to have one of each. *
But my little girl will never have a sister.
And my boy will never have a brother.
My mother-in-law has very recently returned from a tour walking the wall in China.
Her tour guide told of how she was hoping to have two children as they have now relaxed the 'one child' policy under certain conditions.
That got me thinking.
Imagine not only having no siblings, but no aunts, no uncles and no cousins.
Imagine how that would impact on their society and the way they learn to interact within relationships.
Mum and her sister didn't get along very well when they were little.
They are such opposites. They communicate quite often now and see each other regularly but their's is not a close sisterly relationship.
I was terrible to my little sister when we were kids. She was 3 1/2 years younger and I was mean and bossy to her.
I thought she was too little and annoying.
I treated her just the way my boy treats his little sister.
Karma? I'd say so!
But when she got to about 14 and I was 18 I finally realized how cool she was.
She is the most wonderful sister I could ever have.
We used to do lots of things together when we lived closer.
My biggest regret about living where we do is not being able to see her at least once a week.
And while we're different in a lot of ways we never stop talking when we are together.
She is my biggest supporter.
She is an amazing person. Generous, patient and loving.
She wants to make a difference, make the world a better place. And she does.
There's no one, other than my husband, that I'm closer to.
She is my best friend and I love her to bits.
*Read Jodie's excellent post about this topic and the comments (especially Lauren's) at Mummy Mayhem.