Cleopatra was her father’s favorite child. As the royal pet ,she killed at least two of her siblings and her father murdered another- to triply insure her destined role as the beloved child and Egypt’s most storied ruler. In Stacy Schiff’s spectacular biography Cleopatra-A Life her sibling carnage is masterfully revealed.
Cleopatra was a genius at holiday events, arriving down the Nile in clouds of incense on slave powered, purple sailed royal barges . Will you feel like killing your sibling this holiday season because they still reign as the favorite ,as they walk in the door.
In many families’ there’s a favorite child. It could be the youngest, oldest, or the kid with black hair and dimples who looked like Uncle Don. While the children are growing, they gripe, but they can do little to change things.
Family fabric can be bloodied , twisted and torn by having a favorite- just like Cleopatra’s murderous siege on her siblings and maybe leading to an “I Hate You” story. Is this new path to family feuds and sibling misery is the role you played in your family.
In any play or drama, there are always standard roles like a leading man, a heroine, a villain, and a minor character or two. Families can have central casting as well. Parents usually assign roles to family members. These roles include the oldest, who can be a bully or sometimes the child with the most responsibility. There is the classic role of the youngest, who is the baby and often the favorite. Because gender is often the elephant in the family living room, the boy can often be the most valued. The parents’ favored sibling could be the oldest, the smartest, most educated, or even the most challenged brother or sister.
Families have patterns, much like a piece of fabric. These threads are sometimes a map of the family genome. Roles can be a GPS to help us decipher these filial directions.
If your GPS tells you your family has been heading down a blood curdling road this Christmas ,think about forgiveness and have a non threatening holiday.