This is a small glimpse into my life and the physical and emotional experiences from which it is made up. It was created in hopes of inner growth and to further understand and appreciate this life I live.
Exploring Oregon 2009
Monday, July 26, 2010
UNDERSTANDING THE TICKING CLOCK
Loving on my day old Nephew
I got the news sometime last Fall that my sister was pregnant. I had known that they had started trying earlier in the year, and for a while, I had some mixed feelings about this. First, she is my younger sister. Younger by three years. She is my only sister, and therefore will always be my 'baby' sister. It seems that in the last five years she has grown up so much, and it has even seemed that she was in a hurry to grow up, and that at times has been a little hard for me. She got engaged a few months after I did, but beat me to the alter by almost exactly five months. Not a big deal, but was a little strange, again being that she was my younger sister. It made me feel like I was a little behind for not getting married sooner, although I know this is completely ludicrous.
The new family
Then I hear talk that they are thinking about starting a family. Oh Lord. First they buy a new car, and not just any new car but a brand new Honda CRV. It's a great little car, and when I ask why they decided to go with that particular car, the list they gave me had more to do with having kids than anything else. Oh boy.
On a side note, it was about this time that I threatened my sister to come and visit me in Oregon. I officially moved to Bend in May of 2007, and I wasn't even in town a week before my Mom and Sister made a trip out to visit me. My Mom has managed to come and visit again with my Dad last summer, but my sister has not come back since. Her husband even has a brother who lives down the road from me, and even between the two of us, we have not convinced them to come and visit. So when I find out that they have decided that they want to start a family, I told my sister that she was NOT allowed to have a baby until she came to Bend, because after that point, it would become beyond impossible for them to visit. Okay, it is far from 'beyond impossible,' but being that I've been trying to get them out here for years to no avail when their pets were their only responsibility, having a child to worry about traveling with seems to make the idea of them making the trip pretty hopeless. Anyway, it becomes apparent that my threats don't hold any salt, because the next thing I know, they are pregnant.
Mommy & Brodie meeting for the first time
So at this point, I have all SORTS of emotions going on. First, I'm extremely excited about the prospect of becoming an Aunt. How fantastic will that be! Neither Jason nor myself is ready to have kids yet, so having someone else in the family to have them for us to play with is great! Second, I'm feeling a little bit old and behind the times that my baby sister is going to have a baby...before me. Not really something to get worked up about, but I did stop and examine my life a little. I took stock of all my high school and college friends who already have toddlers, infants or were pregnant (some with their second child) and it made me feel like I was dragging my feet in that I don't have plans to have a kid anytime soon. I also looked around my neighborhood and realized that we are basically the only young couple without kids. Hmmmm. I started to freak out a little because I know that there are things I need and want to do (like get my architectural license) before starting a family, but I had this sense that I was running out of time. I had read once that it was beneficial to the female body to have your first child by the age of thirty. I had always thought that I would have my first by thirty...until I got to age 26 or so and realized that 30 was NOT that far off. When I got married at 27, I had already come to terms with the fact that I would not have kids by 30, and was fine with that. In the last year or so, I've decided however, that I want to have kids sooner than later. I don't want to be an old and uncool mother. I don't want to be too old to enjoy my freedom when the kids are old enough to move out of the house. On the other hand, I had hoped to do more traveling before starting a family, but due to financial responsibilities, traveling has been placed on a back burner. You can still travel with kids...right? Okay, maybe the backpack tour of Europe is out, but is flying to New Zealand too much? Time will tell I suppose. Anyhow, this is a whole other subject matter that I may or may not touch on at a later time. To sum things up, I suppose that I was a little jealous of my sister and my friends for being at the point where they are ready and wanted to be parents. I know I want to be, but I just don't feel ready yet, and I'm beginning to wonder if the time will ever come that I will truly feel ready.
Me and my hour old Nephew. Welcome Broderick!
Third and lastly, I'm feeling a little sad/angry that my request for them to visit before having a baby was thrown to the wayside. I know that my sister's life doesn't revolve around my wishes, but I've seriously been living here for over three years now, and the only time I ever see them is when I come to visit them. I know the drive isn't fun, and I know that it takes time, but I do it because I want to see my family. It really isn't that hard. You just have to pick a weekend, plan to take off early that Friday and get on the road. You get into Bend late Friday night and you have all day Saturday and Sunday afternoon to hang out before hitting the road around 2 or 3pm to head home. Yes, it's a short visit, but it's something. I can't say how many times I've done it. If you really want to make a trip out of it, you take Friday and Monday off and make it an extended weekend. Is it too much to ask that you take one or two days off work a year to visit??
New Mother, Grandmother and Baby
After bringing this up, my sister says that they will probably not be able to visit before having the baby because she was saving up all her vacation time to tack onto her maternity leave after the baby was born. So then I am told they will come visit during that time. Yeah right I think, but I can't help but let a small part of me get really, really excited at the prospect of it. Needless to say, she goes back to work in about two weeks, so I gave up and am going to visit them the weekend before she starts work.
Great Grandma, Auntie Summer and Brodie
So those are my mixed emotions. More than anything, I'm stoked to be an Aunt and am so, SO happy for my sister and her husband, but there is a little jealousy and sadness mixed in as well. On top of this is the horrible feeling that I'm missing out on my nephew's youth by living so far away. It would be one thing if they came to see us half as much as we go to see them. Then I would see him every couple of months or so, but this is not the case. I flew home to see him born back in May and when I go home in a couple weeks, this will be the first time I've seen him since, and he's already doubled in size. I really truly want to be a great Aunt, but at this point, I'm beginning to fear that this child will really have no idea who I am, and this is by far the worst feeling of all.