So I got a visit from my big brother this past weekend. Kind of. My brother and I are super close. We talk as often as possible and he’s the first person I turn to when I need to vent. I say vent because I stopped asking for advice a while back. I don’t know if he noticed, because he still offers it. It’s okay. He’s my big brother and that’s what big brothers do. And to be honest, I love the talks we have.
I didn’t stop asking for advice because I don’t value his advice. I stopped asking because he lives in a different world than I do. It’s taken me a while to admit to it. He lives in Atlanta with his girlfriend, who I adore. I also get advice from her that I mostly can’t use. While I do value their advice and their opinions on different matters, they just don’t apply to me. You see, they have no kids. They have no desire to ever have kids. They also have no desire to ever get married. They have their single (yet together for several years now), no-kids world while my kids and my marriage are mine. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
However, it becomes more apparent, the difference of lifestyles, when he comes in for a visit. His days start at around 2 or 3 p.m. and his nights go until 3 or 4 a.m., sometimes later. My internal clock hasn’t let me sleep past 8 a.m. for about four years now. While I still try to burn the midnight oil every now and then, that’s about as far as it’ll get me: midnight. So when my brother came in this weekend, I saw him for a total of about four hours. A stark contrast to my life before kids when we would spend the whole weekend making up for lost time.
I had to laugh when, on Sunday, we were supposed to get together to get some things done around my mother’s house. While I’ve already started and am looking forward to finishing up in an hour or two, my brother is calling me to meet him for breakfast at Waffle House at around one. It’s not that he’s avoiding doing whatever chore it was that we had planned to do. That is just his schedule. I’m not mad at him for it. In fact, it kind of makes me miss those days.
The advice thing is similar. Many married people with kids understand what I’m talking about. There’s a definite contrast in the way single, non-parents deal with things. There have been quite a few times when I have been told, “Just come up to Atlanta and get away for a while.” It sounds great, in theory. But it just doesn’t work out that easily in real life.
I will give my brother credit, though. There have been a few times recently where he just said, “Man, I dunno…sorry I can’t help ya.” So maybe he is starting to realize it as well.
Or maybe he was just distracted by sipping his mojito by the pool.