I talk to the kids about almost everything in a very comfortable way, but the other morning I came across a subject that was uncomfortable to discuss. My family.
Colin was asking if we knew anyone named Justin, and I almost said no. Weird, since that is my step-brother’s name and we were once close. When my step-dad died almost six years ago, he was going through a tough time and we haven’t been in contact since. So I was telling Colin about him and that he was like a brother and was a brother by marriage but not a brother by blood. That led my to the subject of my half-brother… my dad’s son.
When my mom and dad were still together (before I was 18 months old) my brother was part of my life. My mom left my Dad, packed the car and headed across the country and I only saw him and my brother almost a decade later. I was about 10 when I met my brother again, he was 15. I have a feeling that I took away some of the already limited attention that he got from my father and he resented me for it. On my part, I looked up to him and wanted a relationship with him, but it always led to disappointment. A few years ago I let go of the hope of having a relationship with him and instead decided that I would cut him off completely. The other morning, when the conversation turned to him it became uncomfortable.
It was uncomfortable because as I explained that he was my Dad’s son and not my Mom’s, I saw him realize that parents are not always together. It was uncomfortable because I explained that we were never close and that we haven’t talked in years and I saw his confusion of having a sibling that is out there that you don’t see or talk to. It was uncomfortable because he asked to meet his uncle and I said that he probably wouldn’t, he wondered why… It was uncomfortable because I know that they would get along great if they were to meet.
Some subjects are really hard to talk about and they are often not the ones that I expect….