So, last weekend I saw my younger sister for the first time since October of last year. Things have changed a little since then—the biggest being that she is doing a rather poor job of hiding a beach ball under her shirt.
Yes. My sister is pregnant with her first child.
This is important for my family. My nephew-to-be is the first grandbaby for my parents. Granted, it feels a little odd having my sister—who has followed behind me in every important step of our lives—suddenly leap ahead. That’s just a point of view, but not an inaccurate assessment. And I am happy for her, for her husband, and the entire family. Hell, I’m excited as all get-out to have a baby to play with.
But this momentous event has brought other things to the forefront of my mind. First off, let me give you some background. My wife and I both want kids. As to when . . . well, that’s up in the air. We’re not feeling any giant urge right now, and neither of us is exactly unhappy about being twenty-nine/thirty years old with no responsibilities, save for a very needy puppy. The biological urge is there, but it’s just not a strong one. Perhaps that will change with time, perhaps not; either way, there’s no rush.
Perhaps that’s why I am so caught up in my first nephew. I’m unsure exactly why. Yet, there’s one thing I do know for sure. Just as I’m positive I’m excited about the little tyke, I have one thought running circles through my head:
I’m not mature enough to be an uncle.
Please notice I said mature enough, not old enough. I’m well aware of biology and when I hit that puberty mark. So I’m old enough to have kids, but mature enough? That’s a whole different story. We joked around about it last weekend. There was a shirt I spotted on Facebook that summed everything up in a nice little package. It read:
“I’m the crazy uncle your parents warned you about.”
Now, everyone in my family knows exactly how crazy I am—or not. Fun loving? Yes. Prankster? Yes. Occasional buffoon? More than I want to admit. But crazy, I am not. Still, it provided a laugh and a smile, and we all moved on. It was true enough.
There are some aspects of my psyche that are rebelling at the idea of growing up, of putting another person’s needs ahead of my own. But then the rational part of my brain cracks its whip and points to my wife and screams, “You already have!” And it’s true. So what is the difference? Maybe it’s that K is an adult and can fend for herself. Maybe I am just too fond of being immature unless I’m forced to change. I don’t know. But it scares me at times.
I work with the public on a regular basis. In fact, if it wasn’t for John Q. Public, there would be little need for my position. But one of the questions I’m asked repeatedly during our many conversations is, “Do you and your wife have any children?” Obviously, I say no. And the most common response I get has two parts:
1: How old are you?
2: Good. Wait as long as you can. I wish I had.
Seriously, that phrasing itself almost never changes. All these people from different walks of life say nearly exactly the same thing with nearly exactly the same wording. It’s uncanny.
But maybe my wife and I aren’t mature enough to handle kids. I don’t know. But it’s something that we accept as a possibility. There may be some subconscious reason floating to the surface. All I know is this joyride will be coming to an end soon enough. It’s time to grow up. Just a little bit, but not too much.
But then again, my sister doesn’t seem to be the least bit worried about having me around her son, so this all could be in my head.
A Side Note on a Few Things
So, I feel I am going to have a lot less free time in my life. Maybe I just mishandle the time I have, but I’m trying to form better habits for the foreseeable future. How does this affect you? Primarily in two ways:
Starting next week, I plan on changing a couple things regarding this blog. Before now, I’ve always tried to post something new every other week. I’m trashing that schedule, and I am going to try to post a least a little something every week. It may not be spectacular, but the goal is just to have something there for you to read. I just hope it’s entertaining. Also, I’m thinking about tossing in some reviews and opinions about things I’ve seen or read. Feel free to disagree with me. I’d love to have some conversations from different points of view. Love seeing that stuff.
Secondly, this also will allow me to generate a better quality of work than what I am currently putting out. Practice makes perfect and all that jazz. More time focusing on my craft. I know my novel will benefit from it. Or any current writing project, really. All I have to do now is just stop playing so many video games. Put down the TV remote and pick up a book. But you should see a growth here as well. I need to push myself more, and it’s time to start.