My brother is getting married on Saturday. I'm trying not to be "whatever" about it. Especially after my waxing poetic on love recently for the artsy essay.
Ordinarily, a wedding is an occasion everyone looks forward too. Unless you have that "no one is good enough for my child" streak in you, commonly seen amongst mothers of the groom and fathers of the bride. Come on. You know they're out there. Hopefully, you aren't the object of their "affection." (I like to tell Mr W that his Mom liked me and we would have been cool, had she lived. Mr W likes to tell me that she and I would've gone a few rounds by now. I counter with "but your Dad LOVES me, so he'd come to my rescue." Mr W adds "I don't think so." Whatever. It's kind of a moot point, but I do wonder.)
I'm still trying to get into it. I mean, his wife-to-be is a nice enough woman. They have a baby girl together, who is one now.
But he also has an ex-wife, and two kids with her.
That whole scene, him leaving her (my brother suddenly decides to date--while still married); and ultimately getting divorced, was quite an ordeal. No, it couldn't have just gone as a clean break, he had to let it fester and become the family boil.
It wasn't pretty, let me tell you. And even today, a few years later, even though I love my ex-sil and we get along fine, sometimes, there's that awkward silence that I can't smooth over. (For example, this past Saturday, she was at my parent's house with the kids, for dinner. We were chatting in the dining room, and Ryan walks right up to her. "I'm gonna be the ring boy in the wedding." <earth, just swallow me up now> chirp, chirp... "So, how's work?")
The awkwardness extends to the new sil-to-be. Because I call her by the wrong name. Totally unintentionally. To her face. (Hey, I can barely keep my own kids names straight, give me a break.)
In spite of my brother behaving like an idiot, my ex-sil still wants to be around us. Hey, she's still family. I treat her as such.
In spite of my brother behaving like an idiot, I still love him. (Most of the time.) I miss the easy way we used to get along. (All of the time.) I resent him for making everyone's life so much more complicated, and I hate it that I have to weigh most of the things he tells me on the truth-or-bullshit-ometer. It makes me sad.
I forgive him alot, when I see him with my children, who adore him. Oh, Audrey was a hold out (I hope this is an indication that she's got an innate sense of men), but he won her over too. I'm finally coming around again. Cautiously, like I'm approaching a hungry tiger, though.
Mr W, on the other hand, is still holding a bit of a grudge. Partially for me, I think. He's protective. Partially for himself--my brother wasn't completely honest with him at a point in time when Mr W was trying to help.
So this weekend, we will travel a bit to attend the wedding. My kids are in it, too. It's casual, they say. I'm okay with that.
I take a deep breath, and look around at my some of my friends who are on their second marriage and getting along famously. Happy. Still married. I hold them up as examples in my mind, and tell myself that maybe things will work out for my brother this time, too. (I'd be lying if I said that the cynic in me hasn't placed a bet, though.)
Sometimes, believing in love isn't enough.
You have to have hope, too.