16 April 2009

Spring Break '09 | Charlotte i

Once upon a time, our heroine took some time to visit her family. It was an action packed adventure that left young Danie pensive. She began pondering age, altered roles, a non-career driven future, the need to be "connected," and information-induced-insensitivity. Unfortunately - while the thoughts came frequently - the writing about them did not. Danie had developed a block. She knew what she wanted to convey, just not how to convey it. These stories were emotion over event, feeling over fact, thought provoking over just tale telling. The stories themselves were the pita bread in the "family visit" gyro. Our heroine knew this, and was intimidated into silence. Until one day she sat down and started typing...

2 April 2009
Charlotte, North Carolina


I was asleep before we took off from San Francisco, and woke up just as we landed in Charlotte. I'm not from Charlotte. My dad is not from Charlotte. We do not have family in Charlotte. But my youngest little brother lives near Charlotte with his mother. My dad (who loves birthdays as much as I do) likes to take him on birthday expeditions. Last year we went to Universal Studios in Florida, but they had been there several times and my dad thought it was time to try something new. This year, it was Charlotte.

They got there before me and spent a few days seeing some sights and attractions. Ty'yier got a player's card at Dave & Busters, walked the Line at Discovery Place, and learned to swim at Splash Planet. Ty was very proud of his swimming, and that proved to be a spot of contention between us. I do not know how to swim. I plan to learn (this year in fact) but do not yet know. My brother could not believe I a) didn't know how to swim and b) didn't bring a bathing suit to learn. He was especially disappointed when he realized how old I am.

"Dad. How can she be 27 years old and not know how to swim?"

It was beyond his comprehension.

We spent the day driving through looking at houses, driving through downtown Charlotte and walking the Concord Mills Mall. I introduced my dad to Jason's Deli, and we went back to Splash Planet where Ty went swimming and I watched from the treadmill.

I realized this is the time I've been awaiting since I knew Ty was going to be born. It's right now - when he's old enough to understand distance, have likes, dislikes, and a conversation to tell me the difference. This means it's time for me to step up as a sister.

I was a junior in college when Ty was born. I didn't live with my dad, and neither did Ty. Our first meeting was at the Airport before I left to study abroad. I knew I'd be getting a job away from home and would miss his childhood. My dad pushed Derek & I to get close to Ty, but we didn't know how. He didn't live near us. We didn't know his family. We didn't know where to begin. For the first few years, we could only call to check on him by talking to his mother. Then Ty could talk, but didn't really have anything to say. Derek & I felt guilty. We talked about what we should have been doing, but never did it. I realized this year that's all over now. Ty and I are both old enough to reach our full sibling potential. I'm pleased.