Tomorrow my family and I are taking the train into New York City and I will be meeting my nephew for the first time in my life. He is 16 years old.
There is something surreal about it. I mean it’s not like I’m meeting a distant cousin twice removed, we’re talking about my nephew, my SISTER’S son. It amazes me how something such as meeting your nephew for lunch can feel so natural yet so utterly unnatural at the same time.
He said he is nervous and excited so we will make good company because I am feeling the same. I want to make a good impression but I also want to be myself which can be a real balancing act. Up to this point contact with my birth family (the few who have cared to meet me) has been strained and somewhat formal. I have watched everything I say, carefully examining each word under a microscope before it leaves my mouth or my pen. I analyze and sensor my thoughts and in turn my personality becomes white washed, colorless.
When I do manage to be honest with my feelings when speaking to my mother or my sister I say I’m sorry quite often, even though I truly feel I have nothing to be sorry for. My apologies are usually preceeded by feeble attempts at honesty and desperately trying to make them understand why I searched and how the denial and secrecy has affected me. They do not know what it means to be in my company. When you are a secret you act accordingly and hide your true essence.
Tomorrow will be different. First he is young. This in and of itself takes layers upon layers of crap off of the experience. His view is simple; I am his Aunt, what else is there to know? How totally refreshing. It will be the first time I will be meeting someone from my birth family who has made the choice to meet me themselves. To be honored and recognized simply for who I am with no strings attached, no conditions. I think it will be a good day.