confession tuesday, in which i consider becoming an aunt (and other unexpected confessions)

We meet again, Tuesday. Although today you feel like a Wednesday or Thursday, because you have been a rather energetic day, like a culmination of activity before the week lets go. 

I confess that I just stopped what I was doing to turn on some jazz. Jazz is my new favorite thing. I told Carl the other night that nothing screams D.I.N.K. like jazz and a glass of wine in front of the fireplace by 7 pm on a weeknight. 

Although tonight it’s not wine. It’s hot chocolate. Yum.

This week could be a very exciting week, and a portion of my brain has been devoted to that possible excitement all yesterday and today. This is the week that I could become an aunt. I confess that the arrival of every text message, the ring of every phone call, is accompanied by that lurching feeling in my stomach, the big question of, “Is it now? Is he here?”

I confess that watching my younger brother and his wife start a family is going to be one of the most special things and one of the most difficult to anticipate personally. I confess that I had in more recent history imagined that, as the oldest, I’d be the first to have kids; it’s probably the only time I’ve ever felt the traditional tug of “being oldest means going first.” Falling in love with Carl amplified it. Love has a way of magnifying even the smallest desire to raise kids, in my experience. Even when you’re someone who was never totally convinced that having kids was part of her life’s purpose, like me. 

But after a couple years of venturing down that road, I come to a place where there are no more answers about kids for me and Carl, and my brother is going first. Parts of this are stories for another day… something I’m still working through, figuring out how to bring the language to it. 

But the part that is happening now is that my brother is starting his family. And as I write this, I confess that I realize that this actually makes a lot of sense. He never wavered on his purpose in life. Family, having his own family, is part of his fabric. He was the third grader who announced he would not go to college — he wanted to get to work. He has an old-fashioned work ethic, kind of an old soul. He was the teenager who talked passionately about having a wife, a home, a family. He has always had a quiet, steady faith. I have in turns admired and then envied his quiet clarity. 

I don’t mean to say he “deserves” it more and is therefore having kids first. It’s just part of his journey, a part he always seemed meant to start at a young age. I confess that this is what makes me so excited for him… to see him realize something that he talked about so tenderly as we grew up. It’s also bittersweet, realizing that it’s happening at a point in my journey when I’m asking what family means to me and how it will be expressed in my own life.

I confess that somewhere along a sentence or freewheeling paragraph, this post took a turn I did not intend. But it went where it needed to go. It’s my first tiny step towards articulating a big part of myself that I have yet to process more openly… a part of myself that will inevitably bleed into my writing, a part that really has to, I think. So there you go. A totally unexpected Tuesday confession.