Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Becoming An Uncle

Source.
My brother knocked up his gf.

Which means my family gets a new level and I get a new relative to rarely see.

This is confirmation that my brother has grown up. Any hope of rekindling that childish brotherly relationship we once had is gone. We will never again stay up all night playing Tekken and eating the kinds of things that I'm afraid to eat now because they'll make me fat. He has his own family. And although I'm happy for him, it's sad.

What's sadder is that I can no longer pretend that my brother is not sexually active. I can't pretend he's saving himself for marriage even though he's been in a relationship with the same woman since he was seventeen and is now twenty-five. I shudder as images of their sweaty naked bodies enter my head.
The worst part is that I didn't hear it from him. As far as any of my family are aware I don't even know. I was informed by his girlfriend's drunk younger brother who I happened to encounter two weeks ago in a club.
'We're gonna be uncles!'

'Wait. What? [Redacted]'s pregnant?!'

'You didn't know?!'

I brought this whole ordeal up with a friend who suggested the possibility that they're trying to avoid telling people because allegedly most miscarriages happen before three months. That's probably it. They want to protect me from the disappointment of a miscarriage. It's nothing to do with the vast and perennially growing void between me and my brother.

I'm not sure of which relatives know. There's a possibility that I haven't been informed for fear that I might share that information with my mother. My relationship with her isn't great. But the one between my brother and her is non-existent. He's probably already dreading the day when his son or daughter asks about his or her grandmother. She'll be crushed when she inevitably learns that she has a grandchild whose father wants her to have nothing to do with it.

I'm worried about the prospects of being made Godfather. I realise that probably (almost definitely) won't happen and that there are a lot of other family members and friends that would be justifiably considered ahead of me. But what if my brother makes a horrible decision, on par with having unprotected sex? Five years pass. The three of them are happy. The parents have gotten their shit together and the kid is about to start school. Disaster strikes. Drunk driver on the wrong side of the road. The two front occupants perish. The passenger in the back seat makes it out alive. And I have to fucking take care of it. My life becomes a sitcom.

Being an optimist, I've managed to find something that isn't terrible about this.

I have zero interest in ever producing offspring. There are too many things I want to do with my life for me to want children which will get in the way of those things. There's a certain expectation though, which exists in Irish society, where you are supposed to not want to lead a free and independent life but must commit yourself to other people and allow that to be a central aspect in how you identify yourself. My brother conforming to these societal expectations alleviates some of the pressure which which might be placed on me by my family to do that. I could now be relieved of the responsibility associated with continuing the bloodline and carrying on the family name.

Also, I genuinely believe that my brother and his girlfriend will make excellent parents.

10 comments:

  1. One of the great joys about being an uncle: Getting even with your sibling for ancient wrongs by giving their kids huge buckets of candy for their birthday. Enjoy!

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    1. Tempting. I suppose my brother does deserve it after springing this on me. Or for not springing this on me.

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  2. Or to follow on from the comment above... give them very noisy presents: toy drums and trumpets or guns with loud sound effects.

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    1. If I give the child musical instruments and he/she becomes good at them I'll be pissed off that I was responsible for someone else doing what I never had the motivation to do. Guns are a good idea though. Always.

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  3. Being an uncle is great, because you can do all the fun things with your nephews and nieces while letting the parents worry about the stressful stuff. Only true if you like children, though.

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    1. I do not like children. However, this could provide me with an opportunity to learn to dislike them less. Which is a good thing I suppose.

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  4. Good luck and make sure your niece or nephew gets to know you....they can never have enough relatives to use as hideout places when they're in their teens and fighting with their parents.

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    1. I can be his/her annex, offering protection from fascist parents.

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  5. Ha! Oh you are so droll for an optimist!
    Not great to learn it second hand but you can use that in the future as a "I can't possibly be a Godfather, for you didn't tell me first" should the situation arise.
    At least you will have younger person in your life without having to have your own. Win. And you can get it high on red laces liquorice and fruit pastilles.
    Once your bro's baby is born he will be filled with parental love and all family things will once again, be important. Like you. It won't make your relationship less but maybe lessen the void.

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    1. These are all excellent points. Perhaps this won't be so bad.

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