It’s been a busy year so far.
I awoke this morning to news that I now have two brand new baby nieces. My brother and his wife just brought two beautiful twin girls into the world, and I couldn’t be happier for them. Also, twins, which is pretty cool. I’ve known a handful of twins in my life, but never been related to any. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me but that is kind of exciting.
And today I find myself reflecting on my life and the things that have happened to me, even just those of this year. Not a few weeks ago I got married to someone I have been with for almost a third of my life already (good Lord…) and now that I’m far enough away from the moment, the details flood in to me. Maybe it’s just me being me, but I look at all the things I would do differently about the wedding, small details mostly, as I actually found the entire thing to be very close to perfect and very much “us” in terms of the general feel of the day. Like, I would have moved the dancing inside and out of the sun. I probably would have enjoyed the food more (I never got a damn omelette). I think about and wonder how that day will stick in my memory, especially with the fact that my brother was not able to be there. He decided it was better to be at home with his pregnant wife, and I agreed with him. He made a rational, adult decision and I supported him 100%, but you never see yourself getting married without your closest family member by your side.
And I realize we aren’t as close as we once were, when we were young. It’s nobody’s fault per se, just how things turned out. My brother is in the Air Force and is moving all over the country. Between that and my general hatred of phone calls, we don’t talk much, and we see each other considerably less. Granted, every time we actually do get to spend time together, it is the definition of fun. We crack jokes, laugh, mess with our mom, typical brother stuff. I love the holidays and vacations and whatnot where for a few days it feels like nothing has changed.
But now his job has him moving way out to North Dakota, and I can’t help but wonder what this means. And I can’t help but feel angry that my ability to spend time with my family is being affected this way.
I really wanted to have some presence in the lives of my nieces and nephews during their formative years. And now I’m worried I’ll be relegated to “cool Uncle Chris: the guy we see once every two years or so, mainly just because he lives near Disney World.”
And it makes me angry. It does. At nobody in particular. Just at life in general.
I don’t make this post to cheapen anything that’s happened or make anyone feel bad. I guess it’s just good to reflect on reality from time to time. Too often due to the fictional discourses around us are we prone to flights of romance and high hopes. We expect every event and happenstance in our life to share the same magical allure as it does on the page or the TV screen. But more often than not, it doesn’t. Someone can’t make the important event in your life and you have to accept it. Someone goes to war and doesn’t come back. Someone forgets something important to you and your relationship isn’t improved from the experience. Someone moves away and you drift apart. Fights occur and are never reconciled. You don’t get that perfect job.
Though doleful, these are things that can make us better in the long run. Reality isn’t entirely just a bundle of disappointments, one after the other. It’s on us to look to the positives, and if we can’t find any nearby to make our own damn happiness. We can be made stronger by our reaction to things, not by having only fortune and order everyday. That makes us weak, placated. That puts us in a worse position when something does go differently than expected. We have to adapt and take things as they come, and thus I appreciate life for it’s elegant directness, it’s unabashed disregard for our daily itinerary. Reality’s beauty is in it’s inability to be what you expect, to sometimes defy plans and predictions.
I want to end by saying how happy I am for Alex and Brittany and their new baby girls. I am so excited for the chance to meet them, whenever that may be. And though he can’t read this (because he’s two), I just want to tell Ben that I know he’ll be a fantastic older brother.
Because he’ll learn from the best.
Welcome to the world, Sadie and Daisy