Sunday, December 21, 2008

Uncle Me

And I'm back. It's not like very much Michigan related news has been going on over the past three or four days, so you haven't missed that much - only U of M buying Pfizer's former R&D site in Ann Arbor, President Bush announcing a loan program for the automobile manufacturers, the Lions are the first NFL team ever to go 0-15, and my sister had her first baby close to 36 hours ago. It's a boy, he weighs 8 lbs 2 ozs, and he has longer sideburns than me and my dad. That trait almost certainly came from my sister's husband, because males in my immediate family can not grow reasonable-length hair below the top of the ear. We're very un-manly.

The birth of the baby boy has led to some events setting my brother and myself up for a very unusual and peculiar Christmas. We have always been a very close-knit family and everyone has always been together for Christmas. This has historically included Christmas Eve at my Grandma's, presents under the tree on Christmas morning, lunch with my dad's side of the family, and then often dinner again with my mom's side of the family. Over the last several years I have also been able to work in time with Maureen's family - all the more important now that we are betrothed.

As my sister lives in Minnesota, my parents hopped into the family minivan yesterday morning with the dogs in the great Midwest blizzard of 2008 and made their way to Minnesota. Steve and I plan on heading out that way as soon as we have fulfilled some of the family holiday responsibilities around these parts. The next several days are going to be quite weird, and I'm looking forward to the opportunity for some introspection. Christmas Eve, Steve and I will be soldiering to my Grandma's for the traditional delicious and starchy meal, but where there have been up to 8 or 9 of us around the table in the past, there will only be four this year. For Christmas morning, we have informed Santa that he can skip our house with the hope that he can find time for us possibly in a couple weeks. For lunch, my brother and I will do our part to talk up a storm at the family potluck and then return home to an empty house. The dogs went with my parents to Minnesota, so they won't even be here to run around and make some noise.

The next week is going to be super weird and unconventional (for us), but it is all for a joyful and exciting reason - the newborn. I have always been fortunate enough to be close to my family for pretty much every important event in my life. This week, I will have the opportunity to remember and further appreciate the value of this proximity.

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