In one month I’m flying home for two weeks to meet my brother’s first baby and play Auntie. Up until now I really didn’t want to go and couldn’t put my finger directly on why. You see, my brother and I don’t play well together.
I’m not going to pull the veil over your eyes and start off by telling you how when we were young my brother and I fought but now that we’re adults we are close and have never been cruel or hurtful to one another since. That’s the thing is we have been cruel and hurtful to one another. Dave and I have always grown up with very different opinions, ways of approaching people and life, and even different ways of approaching each other. When I say different ways, I mean throwing closed fist punches, glances of pure disgust at each other, and screaming matches that would drive our poor mother to tears. She couldn’t figure out why we just couldn’t get along. OK we were kids back then but the general disagreements and distemper toward each other has just changed into avoidance and at times snarky remarks.
Some of the problem I realize is now as an adult I have this “idea” of what my brother and my relationship “should” be as adults. We come from a close family, family that is involved in each other’s lives. This has translated to everyone, except between my brother and I. In the last five years, I have flown home twice a year, to help out with his wedding, and will soon fly home to see his baby. When I fly home we a brief encounters and visits but there are moments filled with anger and frustration. I think I remember when first talking about California and how excited I was, David stated very bluntly “Well you’re in Minnesota right now, not in California.” Which I guess literally he was right, but immediately the tension was flared up between us. When I flew home for his wedding, I was seen with annoyance before the wedding and then was met by a disgusted glare while he was at the altar. It hurt me to the core and this is why I’ve been hesitant to go home and celebrate with him again. Then something changed.
On Tuesday I got the text that the baby had been born and then pictures followed, I cried. Right there in the middle of Diagnosis Class the love for both him and his new little family came pouring out of me. I saw my brother; I didn’t see the person that had been mean to me or hurtful. I glimpsed moments of connection and love we have had over the years. I saw a new beginning and that the reason for our disconnect wasn’t just on his side but on mine. We got to FaceTime and I saw the softer side of my brother, I had lied to myself over the years and believed in some small way this wasn’t there. But there it was right in front of me as he held and kissed that little boy. Out of a beginning for new life, came a new way of thinking about my brother. That is a beautiful thing.
Healing ourselves is top most priority but its amazing when we are strong enough to stop and heal the parts of us that interact with others. I hope that with this new insight and love that the relationship between my brother and I can start to heal.
Things may continue to be strained or uncomfortable for a time being, but here’s to a blossoming, a beginning, and a baby boy.