That Funny Feeling

Remember when you were younger and you’d get to see your cousins, aunts and uncles, or other extended family members who lived far away,  once a year or so, like at a family reunion?  Remember the excitement that would build the closer you got to actually seeing them?  Then, once you did see them, remember that excitement turning suddenly into an awkward shyness?  You know, the kind that leaves you wanting to smile and make eye contact but not wanting to smile and make eye contact at the same time?  Thank goodness that “I’m meeting you for the first time but not really” feeling  would wear off quickly so important things could happen – like hiking through the woods before we had to go eat the annual lunch of fried chicken and deviled eggs, or wading in the nearby creek, looking for crawdads under rocks.

The other day, our oldest son [OS] rang us up on Skype – the video conferencing tool that lets you “see” the person you are talking with over the computer.  I called for the family to come around the laptop, so we could talk to OS together.  The youngest son [YS] came rushing out of his bedroom.  My husband stopped what he was doing in the kitchen to join us in the den.  Even my mom came over to see OS, and talk with him.  But where was my middle son [MS]?  He was there, too, but hiding behind everyone else, peeking at the computer screen, smiling in that excited/shy way.

OS has been gone from here for a little more than 2 months.  At first, we got to talk with him regularly.  But now, we don’t get to hear from him as often.  Seeing MS, who was probably the first to come running to the computer, but now wanted to safely peek at his brother through the crowd, reminded me of this feeling. Distance does this.  Separation does this.  I had forgotten that feeling.

MS has had the luxury of being the younger brother and the older brother, and when OS left, the title of younger brother was taken from MS.  Now he is only the older brother, in our house.  That has to be hard for him, sometimes.  I think I will try to get OS to “spend some time” talking with MS soon.  By himself.  Some one-on-one time. They won’t be able to have a Nerf war or sit down and play XBox together, but I bet those funny feelings will go away just the same.  It’s the funny feelings, in this case, that will take a hike.

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