No, I'm sorry...

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

But I'm afraid the most adorable baby in the world...


Monday, March 13, 2006

Last night, my family reconciled with my brother after nearly 15 months of tension and separation.

It feels really good.

I have 8 brothers and sisters, four boys and four girls. This brother is number two, 9 years younger than me. I'll call him Johnathan cause I don't know how he'd feel about me talking about him. He left home a few years ago, under less than happy circumstances. 16 months ago, he and his girlfriend had a little boy. For the longest time he couldn't hold down a job, and really had no place to live (but he's been at the same job now for close to a year, which is really awesome).

And then came the Christmas catastrophe.

I won't get into details, but at the family Christmas gathering (read: 40+ people) we (him verses me, my husband and parents) had a huge blow-up and he was asked to leave. There was talk of police and revenge by strong-armed buddies. It was probably the most horrific Christmas evening I've ever had.
And so he was...banished. Not allowed in my parents house. Not allowed near my kids. Weeks, months would go by and we wouldn't hear anything about him. His girlfriend would bring the baby by, sometimes my mom would babysit. But that was about it.

Spring, summer, Thanksgiving, another Christmas went by and the strain of a child gone from the nest was taking it's toll on my mom. Sometime after the new year, she started mentioning that maybe it was time to take a step, reach out.

Say Sorry.

I wasn't completely opposed to the idea. The anger of the night was long gone. Johnathan had simply...disappeared from my life. I told her I'd think about it.

She brought it up once or twice more, hesitant to push me. We're really good friends, my mom and I. I kept procrastinating.

And then something unbelievable happened. This brother, second one down, happens to be adopted. One of my sisters, working full time right now, saving money for college, notices this guy in another department who looks strikingly like our brother. She talks to him. Happens to mention it. He goes home, talks to his mom. Comes back to work...and drops the bombshell that he is Johnathan's birth brother. Not to get into the details of how Johnathan came to my family, but...his birth family was thrilled to have 'found' him. Overnight he suddenly had a family that didn't care how he was leading his life and embraced him with open arms.

My mom was crushed. And I, had lost my chance.

But you know, it's a funny thing, kids who have been taken from their families and adopted out. There's often a darn good reason. And that reason seldom changes, even after 18 years. In the weeks following this upheaval, it became obvious that all was not well in bio-land. And so the opportunity came to invite him over last night to my parents. It was brother number four's birthday, so we all had some cake...and sat around nervously, uncomfortably, wondering who was going to say something first.
Well, perhaps everyone else was wondering, but I knew that I had to say it. I had been...a catalyst for the blow-up in the first place. And I'm the oldest. Some things just have to be done by the oldest.
So I prayed that God would give me the words that would convince him that I really did still love him. That I was tired of the strain and splinter that had become of our family. And God came through, because, I think it happened.


I meant it, Johnathan.

Third Times a Charm

Saturday, March 11, 2006

I've decided that I want a blog to tell my own story, instead of everyone else's. So here's my third try. You can find my first blog, about my son's health problems, at Interesting if a) you know me, 2) you knew me, c) you're a parent or wishing to be one and 4) you want to know about Pierre Robin Sequence or genetic disorders in general. (Yeah, I really miss Mad About You)

I'd tell you where the second is, but then I'd have to publicly mortify myself.

So this is going to be my share my life, opinions, pet peeves and advice blog. Lookin' forward to it.

I'll start with the perfectly horrendous article in today's Spec. I never read the Spec, because, I don't want to spend the money on getting a paper delivered and have you seen what a nine month old does to that much blackened paper? Eeeesh.
But I sent James back to the variety store (after he'd already been over for milk and I forgot to ask him to pick it up-he's really thee most accommodating husband) for a paper, because I want to move, and I want to move fast so I'm watching the open houses, since we're in Hamilton every Sunday anyway.

I'm perfectly aware that I live in a little mother-of-three-toddlers world, made worse by the fact that I cut cable off a few years ago when we were living on a shoestring. (I think we're up to a construction boot string now). I don't hear about a lot of things going on, except that I do catch some headlines when I get on my computer because MSN is my homepage. My mother knows that she has to call me when, let's say, planes start crashing into tall buildings, because I'll be pretty much clueless. It's so bad that a number of months ago, I went to Hamilton for something and couldn't for the life of me figure out why there was even less parking than there usually is. I circled the downtown 4 or 5 times before giving up and going home. I find out later that...the Queen was visiting. No idea...nothing in my noggin. (They really should have used that line in the movie and not just the preview--love it)

So I was a little sheepish to discover that this shudderingly terrible thing had taken place not very far from me and I had no idea. I can't even write the words completely't...doit.

Here, just go read.

If you don't have the time or interest, few key words: drunk girl, 8 guys, rape, mother upstairs.

I've always had a problem with the buddy parent. But it's one thing for little ol' me on my little ol' blog to say so, I think we'd all agree that to have a judge call you on the rug for it is downright shameful. My word, woman, what were you thinking?

It's become an epidemic though. Just watch a few Supernanny reruns (which I don't, but my mom tells me about them) and you see that people are scared to be parents. Scared to have their kids dislike them for a brief moment in time while they're being punished for something. It's a yuck feeling, yeah, but it won't destroy their love--trust me on this. I've seen the foster kids who still wanted to go back to parents who had abused them. Unbelievable.

So, I should really get some work done. Deadline in two weeks less a day. Huge deadline. Tell ya about it later.

Pray for my SIL, would you? She went home for her grandpa's funeral and last night another close family member, there for the funeral, died of a heartattack. Brutal.