Ten year old self: I want to live near my sister so I can see her often and our kids can play together and know each other well.
Myself today: I've moved back to Maryland. I live near my sister (may even move into her neighborhood if I ever get a friggin job). I have kids and she knows them well. But she doesn't have kids, so one plan is foiled.
Nowhere in my, or my sister's, childhood dream of have a close-knit extended family was by brother much in focus. I guess he was always somewhere in the background of our imaginations. He'd be there at Christmas, of course. That uncle the kids know, but don't know. We certainly had that experience growing up.
And now, reality is quite different! Yesterday we all had dinner together: grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, kids, great-grandfather. My sister, brother and I all "home" with our significant others, all of us getting along, actually liking each other, knowing each other. We had a great dinner, laughing, telling stories of our first time drinking, what we used to drink and can't now, why mom doesn't drink beer (her theory is because she never tasted beer from her dad as a little girl and that's what it takes--which is a true circumstance for everyone else present last night), stories from before mom and dad had kids, when they were young like us, stories of how I caused both of my brother's facial scars from childhood (unintentionally, I swear), stories of how we fought, but didn't really fight (my brother never had it in him to beat us up, except one time he punched our sister and shit hit the fan), stories of camping, the positive memories like dancing to the 1965 mixed tape in the camper doing air guitar and lip syncing, stories.... everyone accepting each other (no political talk, obviously). So nice. Then we cleaned up, put the children to bed. We "kids" and our husband, fiance and girlfriend played The Settlers of Catan, which turned out to be a most awesome game. We were rowdy and stayed up too late, but it was so fun. Then everyone slept over for a big breakfast in the morning.
After breakfast, my sister, mom and I walked with the girls to the park where we talked about how nice it was to have each other together, to really like our brother's girlfriend, to like our brother! (Sorry, bud, always loved ya.) We recognize our blessing in having each other.
This is what it's all about.