As an only child, I always dreamed and assumed that when I got married I’d have instant siblings that I’d spend hours with – catching up over coffee in the kitchen as the kids played or walking at the zoo pushing strollers together. It seemed like marriage was my only chance at creating the bigger family that I always wanted.
Well, my in-law family didn’t end up that way. I have an awesome mother-in-law (MIL) and father-in-law (FIL) but my brother-in-law (BIL) and his ex-wife , my sister-in-law (SIL), are less than enthusiastic about spending time with us. They didn’t visit my son when he was born. They barely see us three times a year, and only because we go to them. My son hardly knows them. His cousins enjoy spending time with him (we take each one of them overnight for their birthday) but it’s always slightly tainted with an underlying jealousy about the time and attention he gets that they don’t.
We saw each of my niece and nephews within hours of birth. For years we saw them at least every other weekend, even when we were working full-time and going to college. We have never missed a birthday and we have always adored spending time with them. And it breaks my heart that my son won’t know that feeling of spending real time with his cousins or aunt and uncle.
I know that my son is probably better off not spending time with people who don’t cherish him but it breaks my heart for him. I know the day is coming when he asks me why they don’t come to his parties like other aunts and uncles and I just hope that I will have a kind answer that won’t break his heart any further.