My brother-in-law called me yesterday.
Jim has been my brother-in-law since I was 17 years old—38 years. This was one of less than a dozen times he has called me for any reason and the first ever other than to ask about logistics for some family gathering or activity.
After all these years as family, we're beginning to know one another as individuals. Jim rides slower than the rest of the group and I hate for him to be left behind all the time. I often drop back and ride with him on group rides. We talk and laugh and watch for wildlife together. We admire cloud formations and dew shimmering on spider webs. Last week he got a new bike for his birthday, and the two of us met shortly after dawn the next morning to road test it. Riding bikes is the only thing the two of us have ever done together without other family members.
Jim called because he and a group of work colleagues were trying to figure something out, and he thought I'd know the answer. Mercifully, I did.
What a strange and wonderful thing it is to develop a relationship with someone you've been related to most of your life.