In class, one of our repeated exercises that I feel really defines our class is the times when we begin to list all the factors of a certain subject that we can think of. Most recently we accumulated all of the different things that we thought that time sounded like. In the past we listed all the different “time keepers” that we could think of, or as early as the first class when we wrote down all the different ways to answer “what time is it?”. These may seem like simple icebreakers for discussion in class, but as we’ve done more and more, I have really began to value these as a way of broadening the playing field for the classes discussion. Point is, we all have answers to these questions, and we could all silently conduct research during the class period, but the power of the class bringing in factors and examples that I had yet to consider, or had yet to know about is what really allows this class to breath and grow and work as effectively as it does– as a group.
Last night, my sister gave birth to her first child– the first child from any of my siblings. I became an Uncle for the first time. I rushed home with my brother from the city as soon as we heard she had gone into labor, and we were lucky enough to be there with our family as it was happening. I write this from where I’ve spent the better part of the last 18 hours: the hospital where the baby was born in Monmouth County, New Jersey. Over the time I’ve spent here, and especially after meeting the baby, I felt my perspective naturally develop. Like I mentioned, this is my first time being an uncle. That’s a strange feeling, because to me, an uncle is one of the eleven older men who I see twice a year at holidays. They’re men who rotate mustaches and ask me how old I am. Now, since I’m an uncle and don’t fit that description, I couldn’t help but begin to think about how I view my own uncles and how time could have affected this view.
Realistically, I didn’t form a true opinion of my uncles until I was maybe about eight years old. If we jump eight years in the future to when my niece will be eight, I will be thirty years old. I feared that time will make me a mustache having uncle who barely knows his nieces and nephews, too. But I wondered how time could be the device that makes this alteration to someone. In this case I began making a list of the type of language people use about time. People call time an enemy. People say time flies by. People say time makes a fool of us all. I’ve also heard that time heals, or that people will look forward to time. But, I think relying on time is a tricky game. I’ve been trying to think about creating a positive relationship with time as a way to give myself peace to know that I could be as good of an uncle as I can be.
Time should not particularly be seen as an enemy. Time is maybe more of an obstacle, but not necessarily a force working actively against you. Obstacle courses certainly don’t make things easy, but they are not more of an enemy than perhaps someone you are racing the obstacle course against. Now, I’m not declaring any enemies here, or that I’m in competition with my brother. I was just trying to write out a semi-competent metaphor. Either way, I could view the time ahead of me as the time where I could grow apart from my sister, her husband, and their child. Or I could view the time ahead of me as the empty time that it is. Time that is more so waiting, than it is looming. Time waiting to be filled with memories and opportunities.
While time is sometimes blamed for being too short or acting too quickly, trying to have a positive relationship with it is important in situations as joyous as this. Later, I will try to add a photo of the baby because everyone loves photos of babies! It would be wrong to write a blog about her without including one! Here’s to looking forward to the time with my new niece, Olivia.