Dear Pancreas:

Contrary to popular belief, I have not been destroyed by your minions. This battle isn't over yet.


Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Elephant In The Room

I was never a person who liked babies or little kids. I cringed at crying. I avoided people with strollers. I didn't know how to talk to them. I thought women were crazy for even wanting them... until my baby nephews were born... As soon as I held my first nephew in my arms just a day or two old, I transformed, and the love and joy I felt as a new Aunt was overwhelming. I loved watching him explore his world, and the different toys, and the pure joy he expressed whenever he had a bouncy ball. I love hearing the new words they learn to say and the phrases. I love that my older nephew (almost 2) calls me "Dah-ba-day"---that is my official name, and I assume proud ownership of it! It evolved to be my name because I'd repeat phrases and words he would say, and it eventually stuck. :) As an Aunt I feel that they are my rental babies. I didn't have total responsibility for them, but I could love them with an unconditional feeling that I don't experience often. I have laughed more, I have loved more, I have grown more. And no, it's not baby fever. I don't consider myself capable of having my own children (at least at this point), I can barely take care of myself. But I have learned that Aunts can be like moms too and can play a pivotal role in the development and in their lives. So what's the elephant in the room? It's a confused saddness that I feel, and that I'm sure my two sisters who have the nephews feel, that my brother has been rather ice cold to even attempting to get to know his nephews. It has created an invisible space between him and the family, that doesn't show any sign of shrinking. He (and his wife), has had multiple opportunities to visit with not just me but with my nephews, because I see my sister more than I see him. And one example will probably be this weekend. We are celebrating the first birthday of my nephew... this is the one who lives is Mississippi, so it's not like we can do a hop, skip, and jump and be over there. He has already said he will not be coming because his wife is sick-- which, may be the case, but my sister only visits for a set time in the summer, and if my brother doesn't come to this party, he will most likely not see her or his nephew. I know they are not crazy about kids or babies. In fact, I am sure that had all of the feelings I have mentioned above. But despite this, I just feel saddness because I think they are missing a wonderful opportunity to become closer with this family, instead of becoming farther apart. He is a stranger to both nephews and I am not sure if this will ever change. I have several pictures on my desk of my baby nephews, at different ages, holding them, seeing their smiles, and their love for life. My favorite is of me holding one of them, who is fast asleep and smiling, and I am smiling too. I know that you cannot make someone like babies/kids and I know I am being critical. I just feel like he's missing something special, something you don't get every day to experience. I wish he would hold one of the nephews (something he's never done), and maybe let some of those inhibitions go. To let go of whatever fear he might have, so he could experience more of the most memorable and joyfull moments that I have experienced... Babies offer hope. Hope that the world can become a better place. Hope that our planet can be taken better care of. Hope for new possibilities. And they can light up a person and when they visit, they can drag you out of the darkness and strife so well, that you forget you were ever in it to begin with....

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