In late December I will become an aunt again. My younger brother (my nearly-Irish-twin brother, sixteen months my junior brother) and his wife are having a baby! Their first.
The last time one of my brothers’ had a new baby, it was my youngest brother who has not quite hit the big 5-0 yet … and his youngest is into the double digits!
My brother and sister-in-law have waited a long time for this baby (relative to their chronological ages) and it’s going to be a great occasion when he/she is born.
So what does that mean for our family?
Joy! Growth. Gratitude. A reminder of what is really important!
While we have had our relationship ups and downs, we’re all “older” enough that we realize how lucky we are to have each other. We all have friends who have lost family members. We have all lost our parents. We cherish every minute together and we make time to be together. As you may remember, we’ve added a new brother and sister and their respective families into the fold in early 2009 and we’re still reveling in that new addition. We’ve added two great-nephews, too. And now, again, we’re growing!
Family means the world to me. In a perfect world (at least in MY perfect world), we’d all live within a short walk of each other. But the world is far from perfect and we’re spread all over the map (U.S. map, anyway!) California, Louisiana, Arizona, Massachusetts, New York, Illinois, Ohio, Florida … none particularly close to the other but today we’re closer than ever. Because I’ve not been working for someone else, I’ve been privileged to travel to each of my brothers’ homes and to my children’s’ homes, too, in the last year. Last summer all the brothers and their wives and some of the kids and one of my kids and their dogs all took part in the Messalonskee “Camp Smedley” R&R week. 13 people, 8 dogs. And we hardly ever left the campus!
This new baby will join aunts, uncles, cousins, fur-family, grandparents … a couple of generations of family who love him or her already. Just because his/her parents love each other and because we all love them. That’s what family is about, isn’t it? Loving each other as we are and holding each other up when we’re down. Leaning on each other. Accepting, sharing, laughing, making time to be together.