My very pregnant sister, brother-in-law, and nearly two-year-old niece moved in this past weekend while their house is undergoing some renovations. My sister moved out three years ago after she got married. Even though it was an adjustment, we all seemed to get used to a quieter house and one less person at the dinner table.
Fast-forward three years and instead of four people and a dog in one house we’re eight and a half people (including Alex) and a dog. It’s a little hectic and slightly crazy to say the least. Izzy is a handful, a delightful ball of energy just wanting to play with me or workout with me or simply watch her Big Hero 6. As someone who appreciates her me time, it’s going to take a while to get used to.
All in all I’m insanely happy about them all moving in. Izzy brings a smile to my face every time I wake up and I missed having my sister in the same house as me. Yes, my wardrobe has doubled because of it but it’s more than that. When my sister is close by I feel calm, relaxed, and safe. She exerts that kind of energy, that everything will be okay kind of energy. With all of us under the same roof once again the house feels like even more of a home; something I didn’t think was possible.
It’s wonderful to have conversations with both my siblings as adults while still being able to make each other pee with laughter. It’s cathartic knowing that we can all hang out in the basement, one of us blogging, the other on their phone, and the other paying bills and still have so much to talk and laugh about. It’s crazy seeing the way our relationship with each other has changed over the years, how much stronger its gotten.
We might be the Brady Bunch at the end of the court for the next few months but I wouldn’t want to have it any other way.
“One day you will do things for me that you hate. That is what it means to be family.”
― Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated
Yesterday night I went to my brother’s high school graduation, which means that it’s been seven years since I graduated. Do you remember what it felt like to sit among all of your classmates and listen to esteemed facility yap and yap and yap about how the future is yours, about how proud they are of you, and most importantly about how much potential you have? In all honesty I thought watching my brother graduate would bring back such memories but it didn’t. It brought on anxiety and the inevitable revaluation of my life choices.
There I was, so young and impressionable, not entirely sure where I was headed but completely sure that it would involve the written word. I have many things to be proud of, many words that I’m happy to share, and yet all I can think about are the opportunities I let slip away. The ones I was too afraid to take, the ones that could have made my life a little bit different.
But I digress, graduations aren’t about fear. Graduations are about courage. They’re about new beginnings and new chapters. The Valedictorian at my brother’s ceremony ended his speech with something along the lines of:
“Everything you’ve ever done, ever thought, ever experienced, and ever felt, has led up to this moment in your life… you define the next moment… make it count.”
All I can hope for is that my brother makes his decisions with care but without fear. I hope that his hard work and dedication will lead him to whatever he desires. I hope that he’ll forget about what he “should” do and that he’ll follow his heart. I hope that he makes every moment count. I hope that he won’t let opportunities slip by him because of his insecurities or fear of change. If I’m honest with myself, the kid is a million times braver than me and I couldn’t be more proud. I might be older than him but I do look up to him (and not just because he’s 19 feet taller than me). I hope that I can borrow a little bit of his courage and make the next moments in my life the very best ones…