Accomplishment isn’t the right word. I had nothing to do with it. The fulfillment didn’t come from a diploma or promotion or summit, yet it is the coolest thing that has happened to me.
It was the moment I became an uncle.
It didn’t seem a reality until she was born. And it would change me in ways I never predicted. The biggest one being the final motivator in selling my house. While building it and even the first few years living in it I had visions of eventually having a family of my own, thus the three bedrooms. A few more years passed and the importance of this idea fizzled. It was only after becoming an uncle did these feelings terminate completely. Being an uncle I decided was the most awesome thing that could happen in this life in that respect. An underlying feeling I’ve had plenty of families in the last few hundred lifetimes anyway.
Brienna was a year and a half old. I had left and hadn’t seen her for almost two months. A beautiful sunny July day, my mom was watching her in the backyard when I came back. Not only did she remember my name at only eighteen months and for being gone so long, but came running with a force that almost knocked me over as I knelt down to meet her height. Half startled by little arms with hidden strength that wrap around a neck for an enormous hug, this is a memory I will have until I’m dust, perhaps longer.
I had the opportunity to help babysit for the rest of that summer. How awesome to see a huge smile peer through the uprights of a crib after a long nap. How refreshing is it to be in company of another whose life exists entirely in the here and now, whose happiness exists in the present moment and doesn’t rely on tomorrow. A better job, a better house, more money, more agendas. Instead, a tiny finger that points and takes notice to things grown eyes have fallen blind to. A chance to view the world again from a teacher two foot high yet wiser than us all.
Times two. A plane ticket soon for home to meet another addition, my new nephew.