It's sometimes hard for me, at least remotely, to imagine his life as a family man - vs. just my kid brother. But when I see how amazing he is with the kids, I am in awe of the incredible human being he's become, outside of the roles in which we knew him, a brother, a son. And it's inspiring to see the beautiful spirits of his children, one a toddler and the other just an infant - but already full of personality, good-natured resilience, sweetness and light.
If I'm brutally honest, this is not something I can handle year round - being around small children and giving over life completely to their needs. I am still entirely selfish that way - and I do treasure my independence too much.
But I think that when I'm away, I forget what it's like to be around family - the good as well as the challenging - and every year around this time I am reminded. It's been nice, so far, and I am grateful for good health for all and the ability to use this time to reconnect.
So, cheers to a peace and joy-filled holiday season, and wishing all some time well spent with loved ones! :)