My little brother has come to some decisions lately, and as big sisters should, I have been counseling him through them. He just wants to bounce ideas off someone, and I pretty much keep my mouth shut and let him work through them. Sometimes, I ask questions just to get him thinking, but I know he already knows everything that I could say. He just needs to get the courage to deal with the situation.
My focus has been on him and the family. It has not been on my own emotions as he navigates through this. Mostly because my emotions don't matter because they're his issues, but also because I am pretty unflappable in most situations. I'm the one who makes the tough decisions for my family even though my parents are still thriving. They put the responsibility on me, and I accept it. I just had that moment when I realized how much this is going to affect me, and the tears exploded from my face.
Since it isn't my story to tell, I will refrain from doing so. In this process however, I will lose Little E. He has been the light of my life for more than a year, and I loved spending every second with him that I could. He has morphed from a socially awkward and very outburst-prone barely 5-year-old to a funny, outgoing and well-adjusted 6-year-old. The chaos in his life has subsided as much as possible, and he is doing incredibly well in school. He gives real hugs with everything he has instead of the backward hugs that he used to give because he was scared to touch people. He gives me sloppy kisses on the cheek. He yells my name when he sees me coming. He makes me smile.
There is no way to stop the tears from coming as I write this. None. He was the first child that I identified with as someone I needed to protect for the rest of his young life. He will no longer be mine to protect soon. I won't be able to swoop in and save him from danger or want to yell at people who look at him funny.
I think I always knew this day would come. I didn't really see life with him in it for the forever, but that doesn't mean that I don't love him something fierce
The hardest part it that I don't know what would be easier for the two of us to make the transition less frightening for him. Do I stick around and take him for ice cream and to play for a few months so that he knows I didn't abandon him? Or will that be too confusing? Do I call him, if his mother will let me, to let him know that I still love him and I always will? Or do I give him one last big hug and hold him as long as he'll let me, and then drive away knowing that he's probably going to forget most of my existence? Moreso, what am I doing for him, and what am I trying to do to make myself feel better? Even as it breaks my heart, this should be about the 6-year-old who is losing his way of life, not about the 26-year-old who will get over it.
Kids are resilient. He has people who love him, regardless how dysfunctional they are. He will be okay.
The question is, will I be?
The weepiness is just beginning.
And remember, it's hip to be square( and broken-hearted), kids.