A son is a son till he takes him a wife, a daughter is a daughter all of her life.
I find myself thinking of this old adage whenever I deal with my brother. He has become the embodiment of the Old Testament directive to “cleave unto” your wife, to the exclusion of your birth family. And when I remember how close we used to be, and how unbearably awful things are now, it makes me worry about what the future may hold for Kirk. I don’t want to loose him just because he’s married.
It’s strange because I used to worry about ending up having the same kind of relationship Mr. b has with his mother. They love each other and get along with each other and get drunk with each other and are close emotionally, if not geographically. But they also have a time limit and with snip and snipe at each other if the visit is too long. Kirk and I definitely fit that pattern. We can already push each other’s buttons and already need to take breaks from each other and already just get annoyed with each other. But we also aren’t completely dismissive of each other’s thoughts and feelings.
Maybe it’s my lifelong fight against conformity that’s making the latest round of bullshit with my brother hurt so much? I truly don’t know when he became so judgmental. It’s frustrating to see someone’s previously open mind close so completely. I don’t think Kirk is capable of that kind of lack of empathy but I wouldn’t have guessed it of my brother either.
Here’s the thing. I think my kids are happy and well adjusted and I take joy in the little things in life. I let the annoyances roll off me more often than not because I’m too lazy to waste energy on them. I live in the present because I can’t change the past. I like to have fun. I used to have, hooboy, a different kind of fun before kids but that was before kids. Yet I’m not going to just close the book on fun simply because of being a parent. I make sure my children are healthy and safe and I include them in as many activities as I can because I want them to know what’s out there and I don’t want to shelter them unnecessarily. I do not believe that is irresponsible. I do not believe that makes me a bad parent. I do not believe that my doing things differently from how someone else might is cause for disgust and revulsion. And I do not want to be around someone that I know is going to watch and analyze and judge my every move.