Monday, October 12, 2015

*New Beginnings*

(Four Jentzen Girls)

My brother married my beautiful new sister in law at an Elks hall in downtown Pittsburgh on Saturday night. Leading up to the ceremony, when my siblings and I crowded close for a picture in a nearby courtyard, I looked across the faces of the people I've known my whole life and thought about beginnings. How they never stop coming, really, even when they are disguised as endings.

"The more things change, the more they stay the same," is how that saying goes. I'm not sure how long it has been since we all gathered together, but when 7 people somehow make it to the same spot on earth for a day or two, it feels like it always does. Unremarkably normal. We're all healthy, though not as young as we once were. Just one of us left for just one more year as a teen, and then we are all officially out of childhood. I wonder if it feels lightning fast to my Mom, or if, like for me, it just feels the same.

I take comfort in it. This sameness. I think, for a while, I looked forward to big events. Big changes. Milestones. The older I get, the more I realize that those things will always be cropping up here and there. Weddings and babies, job changes, moves. New adventures, new passions, new exploits. The sameness, the predictable, the ordinary - that's the true treasure trove. My brother's smile hasn't changed in the 31 years I've known him - that's gold. My sisters teasing sarcasm is who she's been from day one. There will always be new beginnings, and they will always feel that prickle of excitement. But some day when our normal shifts, that might just be the day that we realize the gift that we had all along.

My oldest brother got married and I felt it, that bursting pride and excitement of our family expanding to welcome in another person to love. Always a huge deal. Always an amazing gift. But when I looked around and glimpsed my aunts chatting how they always have, saw my Mama dancing with my Dad like they do at every wedding and wrapped my arms around my sister's waist, I knew the sure, warm grasp of normalcy. And treasured it right up in my heart.

{Speaking of New Beginnings, I'm starting one of my own - I signed on to be a consultant for Usborne Books. I'm having a kick off party this week and would love nothing more to have you join in! Shop the party now at}

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