I’ve made it a point, on this website, to refrain from any real discussion of my other sibling, with whom I have a very strained relationship, if you can even call it that. I will not go into detail about the things that keep us from speaking to one another, but to say that we both likely feel quite justified in our respective positions adverse to one another. Isn’t that always how it works? In our family we’re very good at one thing, and that’s the silent treatment. An age-old tradition of not speaking to one another in an attempt to see who will be the first to break down and say “hello” at a family function, if we can find it in our dark, hardened hearts to even show up for a celebratory dinner.
My point in this post isn’t really to discuss our relationship and familial shortcomings, but to say a few words of encouragement and pride that will not likely come out the way I hope when I see my brother tonight, and congratulate him on the birth of his newborn son. I wish my brother all the comfort and luck and passion and patience that parenting will require. May he find a new piece of himself in the life of his child, may he learn what it means to love selflessly and wholly and may he do a better job than we all have in teaching this small boy compassion and forgiveness in the face of adversity, anger and fear.
For the first time, my brother is a father, my sister, Janie and I are aunts, my brother-in-law is an uncle and my parents are grandparents. It’s a bittersweet moment for most of us, but in the end I know we all wish this new little boy all the joy and health this world can offer. He’ll need it, in this family, because we’re a tough crowd.