Siblings: Life’s Built-In Best Friends


Saleena Vu

Siblings can be a core part of one’s family life. They can make life at home very interesting and Saint Joe seniors, Caty Speybroeck and Ben Appleton, are very familiar with the large family environment. Both the Speybroeck and Appleton households have a total of 8 children including Caty and Ben themselves. The seniors enjoy the best of both worlds, living with a mixture of both brothers and sisters at home, and blessed with both older and younger siblings.

According to, “The average American family in 2020 consisted of 3.15 persons” (I’m not completely sure why this number is a decimal, but you get the idea). Caty and Ben’s families do not fit into this average, with families totaling of ten people.

Life at home with seven siblings can be pretty chaotic, but it also has its benefits. Caty expresses her memories growing up in a household full other kids and said, “Growing up with a lot of siblings was definitely crazy. We always had something going on in our house, it was never quiet. We would spend hours playing outside together, and since there were so many of us we could form soccer, football, and wiffle ball teams against each other.”

Despite the Speybroeck versus Speybroeck sports teams, the close knit family is always able to depend on one another. “I love having a lot of siblings because I always have someone to go to if I need anything and I’ve learned and developed so many skills because I like with 9 other people (parents included).”

Ben is one of the oldest in the Appleton siblings, so he responsible for his younger siblings. When asked if he enjoyed life with a lot of siblings, Ben said “Ultimately, this is a great way to live. Human beings are social creatures and having people always around is healthy. Not everyone can just leave their room and immediately have a conversation or start having an imaginary epic anime battle with some kid. For most of my life, my best friends have just been my family, and I cannot imagine not living like that.”

Anyone with siblings will know that they can be definitely be a handful, but in the end, they are the closest set of friends one could ever have.