Uncle Mark

March 13, 2001

Tonight I became an uncle. My brother and his wife had their first child together. Riley Lynn Nichols. Born at 4:55 pm, she weighed 8 lbs 4 ounces and was 21 inches long. Even though I know that this lifetime isn't about children for me it was hard to see them and all the attention they are getting. Society places such a high level of approval on parents that one almost feels criminal by not joining in. My wife and I have talked many times about children and the many options open to us should we want to be parents. The truth for us is that we aren't destined to be parents in this lifetime. The lessons we need to learn are in other areas.

Having said that... I'm jealous. Rightly or wrongly I had always viewed myself as the favored son. Now I realize that this position has shifted to my brother. He has provided my parents with a grandchild. He is doing all the things that a good son should do. I am living my life as close to my truth as possible and yet I remain an outsider.

I would not trade my life or make other choices if I had it to live it over. I am content with who I am and what my life is, and yet... I would be lying to myself if I didn't admit having the very human emotions of jealousy and sadness, along with my feelings of joy and love.

Live your life to its fullest, Riley. Have the courage to stand up for yourself and find your truth. The world wants you to toe a line, look inside yourself and find your own line. I know it will be hard, and sometimes the rewards seem slim, but in the end all you really have is your self.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.