Saturday, August 14, 2010

Sibling Joy

I've been in Idaho just over three months now. Each week it begins to feel more like home.

I love my house, and the new job seems to be a good fit. I enjoy the views of the mountains and have appreciated so much about living here. There are a lot of reasons that coming to Boise has been a blessing. But there is absolutely no question that the greatest blessing of all coming here has been the renewed closeness between by big brother and I.

Rather than being limited to a few 1 or 2 day visits scattered months apart after a four hour drive, we now get to hang out, support one another and appreciate each other's company in completely new ways. I was available to pick him up at the airport after a trip back east. He has been there for me in more ways than I can count. Whether we are helping each other out in practical ways or just getting silly together telling stories and laughing after a shared meal, living this close to my bro has brought a mountain of joy into my life.

Then a couple weeks ago we pulled off an amazing coo. We got ALL of our siblings together for the first time in five years, and the first time ever as adults that did not involve either a wedding or a funeral.

We've all had visits with each other in different combinations over the years. But for one reason or another someone was always missing. Somehow having us ALL together at once again, and this time with no emotionally charged agenda of nuptuals or bereavment allowed us all to relax and enjoy each other in a whole new way. We had a delicious time visiting, reminiscing, sharing some great meals and making music. With two of us living just 7 1/2 miles apart we were able to take turns hosting the tribe and it just worked out well for everybody.

They say your family can really push your buttons because they helped INSTALL your buttons. In years past, being around my sibs at times has been a trigger for some pretty conflicted emotions for me. Old jealousies or memories of past slights would raise their ugly heads. But not this visit. We all genuinely enjoyed each other and savored just the right mix of "remember when" and catching up on each others very grown up lives. It was fabulous.

I don't know how much Idaho will continue to be the gathering place for our may be that we'll arrange other visits to give equal time to the homes of our other sibs. That's fine by me. But for this first precedent setting get together I think it took the critical mass of having at least two of us in one spot to break through our years long inertia of being too caught up in our work-a-day lives to set our sibling relationships as a priority.

I don't expect we'll suddenly start having frequent contact. Beyond the geographic separation of my other sibs (Colorado, New Mexico and California) they each have demanding jobs, families and other things that keep us going in separate directions.

But being here in Boise has definitely taught me what a blessing it can be to build a grown up friendship with my sib here. So I can't help but hope that it will not be another five years till the rest of us all get together again. There is something so sacred about the relationship with brothers and sisters. We're all pretty different. If we just met each other in a social gathering who knows if we'd even necessarily like each other? But because of our shared history and mutual willingness to extend ourselves for each other despite our differences, all of us have been very richly blessed.

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