Family members are such sacred beings that I sometimes have such a distorted vision of who they are. Because I love them and think the world of them, I tend to think no one is good enough for them. Even if the person offers to train and take me up Everest, all it takes is just one less than desirable trait from this person and it would completely confirm my deep-seated belief that this person is unworthy.
My younger brother (not to be confused with the youngest one who’s 12) is 26, he has been dating this gal for over half a year. The gal has two kids and when he first started dating her, he asked me what I thought of the situation, at the time I said something to the effect of, “Well, how I feel is not important, so long as she has time for you and makes you happy.” I was thinking, “Are you fucking nuts!? She’s got TWO kids! She’ll never have the time of day for you, and if she does, she’s a bad mom! You’re only 26, you don’t need that kind of baggage!” He’s also a big flirt and not really a family man kind of guy, so I thought the whole thing was a bad idea. Regardless, it’s his life to live and I never tried to discourage him from seeing the gal.
He had a hard time telling my mom about his girlfriend’s kids, because my mom is very judgmental about these things. Still, the gal is Chinese and word gets around the Chinese community fast, my mom found out before he found a way to break the news to her. My mom didn’t give him grief because if there’s anything she has learned from dealing with her kids for 34 years is, if you give them grief about something, they’ll fight you tooth and nail over it. Instead, she would go to my sister and say, “Oh god, I don’t want to be a grandma to someone else’s children.”
Last night, my brother decided to introduce us to the kids. My initial thoughts on this were, “Why is he introducing the kids to us? They’re not important to me. They’re for him to deal with.” My sister cooked us dinner at her place. When I met the kids, I actually felt ashamed of myself. In thinking that my brother is too good to date a single mom, I forgot that the kids are actual human beings and not baggage. I look into the kids eyes and I saw for the first time, that they’re not only flesh and blood but they are children. They’re 5 and 7 and completely wide-eyed, just waiting for the world to show them love. The fact that they don’t behave like spawns of Satan helped. At the end of the night I told her how happy I was to get the chance to meet her wonderful kids. She smiled but looked a little apprehensive, “I’m still scared of trying to introduce them to your mom.” I just told her, “I wouldn’t worry to much about it, she’ll do the same thing we did, she take one look at your kids and fall in love.”
That whole meeting made me feel for all the single moms out there trying to get the boyfriends’ families to meet their kids. I can see how tough it is. I feel like I should have made a little more effort to make life easier on her, I should have at least invited her kids along for Christmas dinner and such. Hopefully, if things work out between her and my brother, I’ll have time to make up for my close-mindedness.