Last night my brother called me. It’s been a long story, but the call ended in tears with me alone, several floors up, crying on my bed in the sad, wailing kind of way that a mom mourns her child. In between my crying out, I happened to look out the window of my Airbnb at an old beautiful apartment and realized how similar the view looked to my hypnotized past self. I was a similar age and feeling a devastating pain.
I guess this moment unfolded again, or maybe I was seeing my future self instead of my past. I’m not sure, but it looked and felt the same. I was actually supposed to be in Lisbon last week, but ended up going to Croatia.
My nephew is moving to San Jose. We are super close and he usually lives at my house (his grandma lives with us) at least 40% of the time and now he’s leaving. Suddenly. So the tears were because my brother said that when Gaidin says his prayers at night, my mom taught him to say the names of the people who love him, and that he had been saying my name closer to the top than usual .Grandma, Auntie, Uncle Mike…..I couldn’t help but think this time next year Gaidin will be four and he won’t really remember me the same way as someone who is in his everyday life and my heart shattered.
Gaidin and I have some kind of strange connection. I love him fiercely and have always advocated for him. I have always felt like he could be locked in his own mind the way that I can. Maybe it’s because we both have a language delay and attention issues or have a fascination with water and light or prefer to sing over talking. Maybe it’s because Mike calls us Clumsy 1 and Clumsy 2 or that we have no real regard for the personal space of people we like.
I hope in San Jose he finds someone in his life who understands that the need for play, exercise and diet can look a little different for kids who can get in lost themselves. I’m working to embrace my new role as the cool aunt you just see a few times a year, but who loves the heck out of you.