Fortifying family tiesPublished 6:23pm Monday, May 5, 2014
For nearly 25 years, I had the distinction of being the only person in my immediate family that had a birthday in the month of May.
While it’s not a big deal in any sense, it was something I took pride in, as I have numerous cousins and such, and any one of them could have arrived on this earth in May.
But they didn’t.
As a result, May has pretty much always been my month and while I haven’t really celebrated my birthday in a few years, it’s always gone pretty well, so long as I get a decent Mother’s Day present (the day always comes before my birthday. Know what I mean?).
All of that changed last year – May 5, to be exact – when lo and behold, I became an uncle for the first time.
I never told anyone this, but that was a big day for yours truly.
I wasn’t even the father of the kid, yet I almost teared up when I heard my nephew have the first cry of his life, shortly after being born.
From that point on, I knew that I had to strive to be a better example and a better person for him.
When I left the hospital that day, it all hit me. I no longer had the month of May to myself.
Instead, I had to share it with a small bundle of joy who has a smile that can light up many a room.
Oddly enough, I wasn’t as upset about it as I thought I would be.
As it were, this past weekend, my nephew turned one year old, and the family – myself included – all decided to convene at Chuck E. Cheese’s in order to celebrate the occasion.
This was a challenge for me because I don’t exactly have the relationship I want with my relatives.
Don’t get me wrong – it’s far from awful. In fact it’s decent enough, all things considered, but when it comes to your kin, it can always be better. At least, I think so.
So while it wasn’t something I expected, this was a chance for me to see some faces I hadn’t seen in a long time.
My great-grandmother ribbed me a bit, saying she didn’t recognize me at all. I even saw some old classmates that had since become a part of my brother’s circle of friends.
I saw a couple of aunts, and handful of cousins, and I got sorely needed time with my nephew.
All in all, it was a good day. And it took me another step in the right direction in terms of strengthening my family ties.
I knew that I would be a better example for my nephew, but thanks to him, I got a little bit back in tune with my family, and that makes me a better person.
On a lighter note, Chuck E. Cheese’s is bananas during birthday celebrations.
Chaos doesn’t even begin to describe it.
But amidst all the tumult, I felt right at home.
Bailey is sports editor for The Outlook.