Letters to my Sister in Japan — Day 83

Dear Sister,

Somehow, because of a lapse in judgment and a very long night, I’ve transitioned from writing these letters at night to writing them in the morning. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I’m still technically a day behind and it weighs heavy on my obsessive mind.

Your niece texted me an emoji (👋🏻) a few nights ago and it makes me feel like the world is changing way too fast. This must be normal though. It’s my brain that must be stuck in a feedback loop because sometimes I imagine that it’s still 2008 and I can still fit my knitted beanie over her entire head. Kids don’t grow up fast, we merely keep thinking they’re the same age until they do something different.

One of my favorite scenes of any movie is in Father of the Bride when the daughter announces to her family that she’s getting married and the dad can only see her as the little girl he raised.

It perfectly explains a very relatable reaction and I can’t do any better at explaining it.

Is that how it feels when you see the Danny’s all grown up and going to school? Is that how it feels when you see Bella texting on her phone? Or catch Cammy talking about simple sentences and grade school math? Is that how it feels when you see me doing things I shouldn’t do, should do, or never thought I would do?

My mom is cryptic, morbid, and deterministic when she talks about her life and her relationship with her kids. She once told me that when she had my siblings (you guys), she only lived to make sure that each of them could reach an age in which they could provide for themselves. Then I came along, and she extended her mission to include me. And then her grandkids came along, and again, the same thing. Her views are most-likely colored by the ghost stories she heard as a girl, her catholic upbringing, and her strong sense of personal responsibility. Given what I know about how she views us, her children, I can only imagine how difficult it is for her to let go or watch us grow up.

My dad… honestly I’m not entirely sure how he sees us. The proudest I’ve ever seen my dad is when I brought home the beer I brewed. He was very possessive of the bottle I gave him and he was visibly bragging about my ONE batch to everyone. The last time I’ve ever seen him so visibly proud was when I was in concert band as a kid and I performed at Disneyland. I think that because it’s harder for him to relate to my “career” with computers or my hobbies, outside of brewing beer, he probably accepts that I self-sustaining to a degree and he doesn’t worry so much about me.

Do you ever wonder about these things? I feel like you’re more of a parent to our actual parents than they to you, but do you ever reflect on how they see you? I’m sure they’re immensely proud and thankful. I would be.

Your Little Brother