I recently learned that my brother-in-law proposed to his gorgeous girlfriend on New Year’s Day. I am absolutely thrilled, as she is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. She’s kind, genuine, and ridiculously intelligent. Did I mention she’s beautiful? She is also the mother to my niece, who irrevocably stole my heart on July 4th, 2012 and has never given it back. I couldn’t be happier for my brother-in-law. I’m also really happy for myself.
Before you start calling me selfish or silly, let me explain why I’m so glad they’re engaged.
I spent the day with my future sister-in-law on Sunday, participating in a Bridal Crawl in downtown Orlando. We sampled delicious food, checked out venues, and had several mimosas. Pretty sure I lost count. We even posed for quite a few photobooth pictures, many of which can probably be used as blackmail against us in the future. Needless to say, the day was a blast.
My husband asked me last night why I was so excited about their engagement. I mean, I’m not the one getting married, right? So why am I up until 2am searching wedding blogs and Pinterest and getting giddy over garters? [Did you enjoy the alliteration? I sure did.] It has nothing to do with me wanting to live vicariously through her wedding. Believe me, I had enough stress, excitement, and craziness planning my own wedding. I’m certainly enjoying helping her, but it’s not because I’m the kind of girl who fawns over chiffon and doilies. I just really like her. I’m going to have a sister. That’s huge.
As both an only child and one of four daughters, I’m in a pretty unique situation. My father was married before my mother, having three daughters with his first wife. I am my mother’s only daughter. Due to the massive age difference, my three half-sisters weren’t really involved in my life. The youngest is nearly a decade my senior. They were raised by their mother and didn’t have much to do with me outside of the occasional holiday or family get-together. So, in all respective purposes, I was raised as an only child.
Permit me a tangent for a moment —
I have a theory about only-children: we rarely want to be “only.” I’ve spent much of my life craving interaction, always desiring and envious of the companionship and camaraderie that comes naturally as a sibling. When you have a brother or sister, you have a built-in best friend. And a built in enemy. As a result, you learn a lot of social skills very quickly that us only-children take much longer to grasp. I remember being jealous of my peers who had siblings, as I felt like they were sharing in on a secret I wasn’t privy to. Even now, at 28, I sometimes wonder what I’m missing out on.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying I’m socially lacking or that my life isn’t complete [and rich and full, etc] because I didn’t have a sibling. I’m very, very happy with the family dynamic I grew up in. Heaven knows it was nice not having to share my Barbie dream house with anyone! And I have some of the dearest, kindest, most affectionate friends in the world. They are closer to me than many of my blood relatives; I wouldn’t trade them for the world.
OK, tangent over. Sorry about that.
So why am I so excited for my brother-in-law’s engagement? I’m excited that my brother-in-law has found the perfect match for him. She’s funny, nerdy [so is he, so that’s a good thing], sweet, and loves soccer as much as he does, which I didn’t think was physically possible with another human being.
I’m excited that my mother and father-in-law have gained another daughter. They love his fiancee [and their granddaughter!] almost as much as their son does!
I’m excited that my husband has gained a sister-in-law. He probably hasn’t thought much about it, but I’m sure it’ll sink in when he goes to give the speech as the Best Man on their wedding day, like his brother did for him nearly six years ago.
And for me? I’m happy to have gained a new friend…and a sister. Two birds, one stone. 🙂
~ Victoria Elizabeth Ann
When the family grows, so does the heart –
[Sounds like an old Chinese proverb, but I *think* I made it up. If I’m ripping it off from someone, it’s purely unintentional.]