If you haven’t gathered from my thoughts and whisperings I am not from where I live. I moved to Madison with my wife so she could attend grad school. She is an Educational Psychology student shooting for her PhD within the next two years. Being here with her has improved my life dramatically, but my birth family isn’t here and when Griffin was born I was worried that he may never get to know my side of our family.
My sister is in town on business for the next three weeks. She is six years younger than I, much more smart and much better looking than me, and yet sitting with her in our small two-bedroom listening to her stories amazes me the more I get to know her better.
What I learned today about being a father:
My sister is awesome. She tries to keep in touch through all the different modes of communication you can think of. She’s driven to be the rock that holds my three brothers and me together even though she moved away from home four years ago. She is driven to be as successful as possible, to put her mark on the world as a young business woman and to retire before she’s 40. She loves talking about money, her life, her husband and his family but more important she completely understands why I am the way am and likes me just the same.
In my eyes she is still my little sister, the young girl who cheered me on at my basketball games and would get excited when she was a part of what the boys were up to. She was always the smart one, always the one we all said would make something of herself because we could all see the it in her. And as she sits here, with Jackie, Griffin and I, and she tells the stories about her life, I can’t help think how fast she has grown up.
What I think I know:
So nothing I previously said explains what I learned today about being a father, but as much as I can remember about my sister when she was just a girl, I can’t for the life of me remember why we ever thought she would turn out the way she did. I mean, I lived in the same house with her for 12 years, came back from college for some weekends and holidays and made sure I was there to stare down her date to her first high school dance.
That’s what being a brother was all about, but what I didn’t realize is that it’s these same qualities that go into being daddy. I’ve got to see the good qualities that my son portrays, reinforce the positives and deal with any negatives in a way that teaches him to be a good person.
Seeing my sister makes my day, and I’m glad she’s in town for a few weeks to share in the life of her new nephew. My parents are on their way from Omaha, NE, to spend some time with us and meet their new grandchild as well. These are the first of my clan that Griffin will meet, and there are many more to come, which is awesome and scary at the same time. Awesome because my family has a lot of different components to take from, scary because even today I can see the differences in Griffin. He is bigger, longer, more wide-eyed than I would have thought after only 25 days. He’s growing up faster than I want him to, but there’s no stopping it, it’s going to happen. But it was my sisters presence with us tonight that made me realize that I’m still her big brother, and that even though she’s grown up she is still my little sister. As old as he gets, and as grown up as becomes, he will never be too grown up to be anything less than my son.
I like that.