My wedding anniversary was 2/15. The last one I celebrated, which was in a nice restaurant, was full of loud, yet restrained, and sarcastic, bickering about how our kids had never met my brother. Or his daughter. How his wife had died before they met her. My X didn’t like my brother. Although, he had never met him, either. He doesn’t let things like that get in the way of his judgments. I remember it being kind of an escalated clash, fueled by expensive wine.
Happy Anniversary. He started his affair the next day on a business trip.
But, I digress.
I’m the youngest of three, and there is ten years between my brother and me. Communication wasn’t king, as I barely knew him, but still, as the years marched on, a desire grew in me to at least have my kids and their uncle and first cousin meet. Even if just once.
My brother is a ’60s hippie turned born again Christian. His wife was a Jews-for-Jesus convert, although her heritage as a Hebrew was murky. His daughter is…a force, strong-willed, determined (that’s the positive spin).
They weren’t my X’s cup of tea, and he had a nice, tidy, established grip on our family. Especially our children. And, although he is pretty hard to please as someone deemed worthy enough to hang around with (unless you are on his side of the family, then you have to suffer them just like he does), they aren’t really my cup of tea, either.
My brother and I weren’t very close for lots of reasons, but when our dad passed away, we got to spend time together and know each other a little as adults.
I found out that liked him — at least his 60-year-old self. I respected him. I wanted my children to meet him.
This is getting long…what was my point, again?
Oh yeah, I’m thinking of all of this because there’s a convergence at my mother’s for Thanksgiving — by brother, his daughter, my aunt, her grandchildren (I’ve never met).
I think it will be great. Fun. Past-due. A goal met.
But, here’s the thing — what if it’s not?
What if they dislike each other and fight? All generations — my mom and her sister, me and my siblings, my kids and their cousins?
Or worse? What if they shout at each other about politics and religion, and sibling slights, and who got the family house, and money and, and, and…
Some would say, then it will be a lot like other people’s Thankgivings, right?
I can’t wait. They ought to be able to say from experience if they like each other or not, if they plan to see each other again, or not. And with a week or so at my mom’s, my kids will not have to negotiate a Thanksgiving on my X’s side with the old cast of family characters and the new step-mom, etc. Ick.
I think they call this a win-win. At least for me.