Saturday, August 19, 2006

He's Bubba, and I'm Sis.

Well, I'm staying in Washington, D.C. It is now where I will lay my head, at least until December. Starstruck within myself, I just discovered this: Search & E-mail me from the Washington Post web site.

And now you know. In the pursuit of the perfect job solution, I called my 14-year-old brother. He's the 8 or 9 year later child, and the family member who best understands me and cares about me. He and I are pretty, well, we're pretty special, we are. I love that kid, and he knows it. So I called and Joseph is wise beyond his years. He always has been. He's absolutely brilliant, and his friends should be proud to know him. He plodded along with me through my conversion, asking questions -- always asking questions -- and was excited for me when I "officially" converted. He knows me, well. So I called him. I told him I needed answers, and he asked about what, and I told him about my job situation. (Text isn't word for word, but it's what was said, to the best of my recollection.)

He asked, "Is there one paper you're leaning toward?"
I answered yes, and he asked why that one, so I explained at length the ups and downs, the ins and outs. I explained that I wouldn't have Shabbat off, but that I can go in the morning, that I can probably make it work, if I really want it to.
"What's so bad about the other paper?" he asked.
I explained about the place, the smallness, the California, the everything. But then I explained about Shabbat and its importance and how California was offering me my Shabbat -- and then some.
"What do I do, Joseph?" I asked him.
He then told me that he understands religion is very important to me, but that if I have to sacrifice everything else (happiness, a city I like, feeling comfort), then what's the point? He sounded so smart, so sure, so comforting. He talked me down and concluded with,
"You can make it work if you want, sis, just like you said. If you want it to work, it will."

I could have kissed him square on the cheek. Or bought him an immediate ticket to come see me. I miss the kid, who is really a teenager. It's funny how for granted I took him being so close. We used to go out and get lunch. He put up with me taking pictures of him for photography class. He also put up with the summer of Kevin -- in high school Joseph and I went bowling many times a week and then to Taco Inn for lunch with my boyfriend, Kevin. Now Joseph is going into high school. He'll have dates, girlfriends, trips, real experiences. And I'll have him on the phone for a half-hour while I traverse downtown and Dupont looking for my car at midnight. I hope I don't miss his big moments by being so far away.

After I got off the phone with Joseph I knew. Somehow he managed to regurgitate and organize how I was really feeling and make it make sense to me. This kid is ... brilliant. I thanked him, told him I loved him, and hung up, and the decision was made.

I just hope that the next time I need to make a decision, he'll be the same little brother I've always had. He'll offer the sound, wise advice of someone much younger than me, but all the same sure and confident. To be honest, I don't know that I'd know what to do without him.

Thanks, bubba. I can make it work.