I have two brothers: my older brother is a battling ladies man – okay he always falls hard and is often left holding his beautiful but bruised and bleeding heart. My younger brother is a rock god – a rebellious soul and my first love. When I fist held him when my parents brought him home I knew that we’d get along great, unlike with big brother who always wanted to be the boss of me. Two years ago baby brother and his fiancé of three years now, had the most beautiful baby girl. She has the exact eyes my dad did, the warmest brown eyes I know. They named her Jamie Michaela for my late father (James Michael), but we all call her James for some reason. I love my brothers. When big brother has a new lady or needs help recovering from the last one I try to be there for him. When James was born I bought her first crib together with the mattress. When family gatherings happen it often becomes uncomfortable for me because of a few predictable but still very uncomfortable questions…
1. The boyfriend
When this question is asked it’s often right after a messy breakup or at a point a new relationship where I don’t want to involve family for in the event the relationship should fail even before it takes off. My mother get’s very excited by the prospect of any kind of relationship, regardless of how new it is. I see the wedding bells in her eyes.
2. What ever happened to...?
Even if the relationship was as insignificant as 13-year-old me holding hands and sharing ice cream with some gangly crooked toothed 13 and half year old on a family holiday. They will still ask about that person, in a tone that says: “Hey, look him up on LinkedIn, he’s probably still single or better, divorced. What you know for sure is he liked you once, he can learn to like you again”.
3. Tick tock
Older brother, who has no child or child-liking bone in his body is always the first one to bring this up. Only family can talk to you about your biological clock as if it were public interest or a topic in which they have a say. The funny this is when I was still atuni and when I first started my job it was all about don’t get pregnant. Now it’s baby babybaby. I don’t mind it though; they are showing me that they care.
I have come to realise over the years that when you’re single nobody cares where you sleep. My mother always makes arrangements for the boys when we go home, she even makes special plans for baby James ‘in Nana’s bed’ and all I get is “the sofa is fine, right dear?” Or “you can always use the blow up mattress”, which are both a far cry from the comfort of my Sealy Posturepedic
It’s going to be an interesting festive season ahead.