Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Back To Nuclear

After living with us for nearly the entirety of Leo's 5 year life (and some months before), Uncle Daniel has moved out. We saw the writing on the wall when he first met his now girlfriend - he began spending more and more time with her and less time at home. Of course we were/are happy to see him happy, but we miss him a ton.

So, it's just jb, the kids and me under our roof these days.  There are some nice things about just being a nuclear family (for example, I've all but given up wearing pants around the house), but mostly we've noticed the downside of losing Daniel as a housemate. There are the more tangible perks to having another adult around, like one more person washing the never-ending dishes or someone to occasionally keep an eye on the kids for 20 minutes if I need to run and errand that would be a thousand times quicker without my two-sidekicks. But really, the biggest loss is his company. We miss seeing him in the mornings when he'd come up for coffee and at dinner time (we tried to eat dinner as a family when our schedules allowed). One more perspective in our conversations at the dinner table and one more life experience to share with the kids is never a bad thing.

The kids loved having him around and he struck that perfect harmony of intimate familiarity and novelty for them. When he would invite Leo downstairs to his room to "listen to music," Leo felt like the coolest kid in the world. When he'd take the kids out to lunch, not only was it a welcome break for me (watching TV in the middle of day - woot!), but it was so special to the kiddos to have time out in the world with their Uncle.

And then there was the cooking. Daniel is a great cook…and he's great to cook for. Pretty much every recipe he tackled turned out great, and no matter how awful something I made turned out he was still full of compliments. With three adults in the house who enjoy cooking, not only was the workload spread out a bit, but the variety of foods served in our house was more diverse than ever before. The kitchen is and was truly the heart of our home - with someone always cooking/baking/washing/eating. So the heart of our home is still pumping along, but it's missing a valve...or it's been transplanted...I think this metaphor got away from me. Sorry. Thankfully, he's just over the Schuykill in South Philly and we still get to see each other regularly. Thanks Daniel for your years of friendship, support, help big and small, and being the best family addition we could ask for. We wish you luck in this next chapter. Don't forget about us.

1 comment:

  1. Daniel Burgan4/27/2015

    I would often joke about how unappealing it is for a
    20something year old bachelor to live with an ostensibly married couple and
    their two small children. I guess living with your sister at that age is even
    almost as ostracizing as moving back in with your parents. But if it weren’t
    for Jess and Sandra, I’d have never been able to, well... I could say live. But
    that seems like an awful lot. They definitely made it possible for me to move
    to Philadelphia when they said I could live with them (again). And now, looking
    back, I can’t imagine doing it differently given the chance.

    While it may not seem like the best living
    arrangement on paper or something that is going to get the ladies all hot and
    bothered, it was an opportunity. An opportunity to watch Leo and Zoe’s first
    steps; to hear them string together their first words; to get little scraps of
    art that they made special for Uncle Daniel. Little, daily reminders that those
    two little monkeys were quickly becoming real people, the kinds of things that,
    at least in my mind, make me the envy of the Burgan-Telep aunt and uncle

    So, I have moved out. I found a lovely girl that
    didn’t mind that I lived with my family, believe it or not, and now we have a
    little place together. But there is something missing. And there are things I miss.
    I miss waking up to the sounds of little feet in the hallway and coming up for
    coffee (that Jess had already made! Seriously, what a luxury) while the kids were
    eating breakfast and hearing: “Good Morning, Uncle Daniel!” I miss reading to
    them. I even kinda miss all of those “whys?” and especially those, “Uncle
    Daniel, what do you know about popcorn?” (or, really, anything from astronomy
    to particle physics to Marvel super-heroes to whatever else popped into Leo’s
    head that he somehow or another thought I would just know all about and be able
    to speak about extensively).

    But I also miss my sister, my best friend and the
    person that has made me the man I am today. And I miss Sandra—and not just her
    cooking! Or having her compliment an outfit I had on. If it weren’t for her,
    for her faith in me, I really don’t know where I’d be today.

    To Leo and Zoe—I can’t wait to experience with you
    what the rest of our lives have to offer.

    To Jess and Sandra—thank you so much for making me
    such a big part in this adventure of yours.

    I love you all. So much.

    It’s been awesome