This past weekend your favorite Dandy & crew had the pleasure of a family visit.  I say pleasure, because it really was genuinely nice to see my sister, brother-in-law, niece & nephew again. The kids have a TON of energy–like they’ve eaten an entire cake & downed it with Five Hour Energy–but we don’t mind, they seem to enjoy their visits & the oddities of their uncles’ home, which you would think is like nothing they’ve ever seen before.  Maybe I do have a flair for this…

There are distinct differences between life with kids & life without.  Whereas my sister  has to juggle work, Zumba, book club, etc., with the help of her husband & our parents, I don’t.  If I get a whim to stop typing & go the gym this very minute, (which believe me, that will never happen) I can do it.  I can stay up as late as I want (which thanks to the gift of insomnia, I rarely find challenging).  No repercussions, other than being tired the next morning.  And best of all, when I am with these kids, I get to play Uncle.  I’d like to say I’m the cool one, but alas, that title goes to Randy.  Having 2 kids & a granddaughter of his own, he is better equipped to understand the oddities of children that perplex me to no end.  For example, why would you think that the spices in sausage are peppermint? And why, after you’ve been told what they are, would you refuse to eat it?  It’s sausage after all, the only thing better is bacon. And when the kids are asking if they can have a soda from the bar in the study/guest room, I have to remember to say, “yes but don’t drink any of my vodka”.   I digress, Randy is the Cool Uncle.  He’s fun, makes them laugh, keeps them entertained WAY more than I do.  For some reason, children under 10 do not find little-known lifestyle blogs entertaining.  I guess it’s an acquired taste.

I am the serious uncle.  I’m the one that answers questions & teaches them a few things.  For instance, my nephew Cooper now understands that when saying someone has a monkey on their back it isn’t a literal monkey.  I swear I don’t even remember how the conversation went that direction, but it did…in the same conversation, he learned what sketchy & basic means & is now throwing them around as if he were little Michael Alig at Limelight.  I’m sure my sister loves me for that.

Anyway, this visit reinforced something that I have been thinking about much more over the past couple of years & that is family history.  I am realizing more & more that the bonds between this generation & the past are growing fainter.  What I mean is this: I have trouble remembering things about our family past my grandparents’ generation.  I literally cannot remember sometimes my great-grandparents’ names or how people are related.  And if my generation loses those connections, it will most likely be lost to my niece & nephew’s as well.  I want them to understand the amazing family that they come from & find inspiration for their lives from it.  I come from a long line of people that dealt with life by picking themselves up, dusting themselves off & making it better.  The times in my life that have been the most challenging, frightening, and seemingly overwhelming, I have been able to deal with by thinking about these amazing people that went through times in their lives in which they felt the same way, but persevered, made decisions, moved forward, made mistakes, made them right & learned from them.  My hope is that I can inspire these kids in some way, as others have inspired me.  In the meantime, I will learn as much as I can about our family trees to keep the roots strong & to pass this history down to the next generation.  Is there any greater tragedy than the thought that this voice would be lost to future Dandies? No ma’am.