Tag: siblings

New Year’s Eve Is Just Not Enough To Erase 2020 (G-uno)

If you’re looking for sunshine, and rainbows don’t waste a single second reading this post. You should also go away if you’re searching for some bull crap platitude about starting the new year with some magical clean slate. I spent the entire year trying to do my best to be positive, introspective, and forgiving. What did I learn from this little experiment in enlightenment? I learned that “When people show you who they are you should believe them.”

This writer is not looking for any sympathy, or any sappy commentary regarding my piss poor attitude so with the greatest respect just go to another blog. I can assure you that the next few posts will be filled with some pretty dark, sarcastic angry diatribes. Now that you’ve been given appropriate time to escape lets begin with crappy siblings.

I will admit that I broke a promise in 2016 that started this whole crazy mess. My sibling went on vacation, and I was asked not to clean up their home. I promised I would not do it, but I broke my promise, and spotlessly cleaned their entire home from top to bottom. I had some very great intentions, and some seriously legitimate concerns behind this broken promise. This however does not excuse the fact that I was wrong. I have potty trained this sibling. I realize that sometimes I overstep from the sibling role into the parental role. We come from a particularly complicated childhood. I am the oldest child. The fixer slash protector.

You should also know that I love my sibling deeply. I have been there for them in an above average way their entire life so admittedly I’m pissed that they are happy to enjoy my crossing of sibling boundaries when it suited them. I’m also extremely pissed that they pretended to accept my sincere regret for breaking my promise, while continuing to seethe privately until the point of exploding in the most vulgar outburst which was followed by the most passive aggressive retaliation seen since the demise of our parent.

My sibling, and I have always been extremely close. A relationship so close that it would have been completely unthinkable to anyone that we are now so estranged.

Are You Your Parent’s Favorite Kid? ( G-uno)

This is a subject that I suspect all families talk about maybe even argue about. It’s something my family does a lot! I know your not suppose to have favorites, especially when it comes to your kids, but I can guarantee you most of us do! I remember watching a movie once where the Mom had taken each of her kids aside, and made them promise her not to tell their siblings that they were her “Favorite” child. In the movie the Mom passes away, and one by one each child reveals that Mom made them promise not to tell, but they were her “Favorite” kid.

If you ask me it was a pretty stellar idea! It was hilarious to see the reactions of each kid when they realized what Mom had done. It kind of makes you wonder if she thought each one would keep her special secret going through life proudly knowing they were the chosen one, or did she have an epic sense of humor relishing the thought that her little angels would not keep her secret, amused by the idea of the self humbling moment when they realized Mom was quite the character.

Either way I have to say I like it! It drives our Mom crazy when we all fight over who is the favorite with each parent. My vote still lies with the “Grill Cheese Brother.” This would anger our baby brother, but he gets the title of being our Dad’s favorite. I of course proclaim that I am both of their favorites just because I’m the oldest, and I know that it makes them all second guess the situation. This amuses me! My husband is both of his parent’s “Favorite” child, and this does not amuse my sister or brother-in-law at all! His parent’s are not good at hiding the one thing a parent should hide from their kids. This also amuses me!

Now before you all form some serious judgments out there about this “Favorite” kid thing let me just say as a parent the truth is we don’t actually favor one child over another (go ahead breathe a secret sigh of relief), but we do favor certain characteristics in each child. Yes, I know all the only children out there who have never had to share the wealth between your parents affections are feeling a little smug, so here’s a little something to keep your ego in check. Your parents have things they dislike about your personality. Yep, that’s right being the only child does not exclude you from that club.

As for all the skeptics out there who think I’m about to pander to my kids egos please keep in mind my blog is a secret that g2, and I decided to keep from our families & friends so I can dish all the truth I want. I will tell you both one my favorite things about each of my kids, and one my not so favorite things about them.

Let’s start with my oldest my Daughter.One my favorite things about her is that she ALWAYS tells the truth! I know you think no one always tells the truth, but this kid is really different. Example- once a neighbor called to tell me she had refused to follow her request, and proceeded to issue some rather choice profanities. I always ask my children their side of any issue before I decide to deal with them, so I asked her if she had done this. She said yes I did, and I also said this to her… She knew she would be punished, but simply refused to back down on her stance! I had such a hard time punishing someone who would always straight-up tell you what they had done wrong in spite of the consequences. She is one of those rare souls who lives her life on her own terms. One of my least favorite things about her is that she can be relentless once she has made up her mind about something. I’m talking about being immovable like a mountain!

My Son is my baby. One of my favorite things about him is openness to experiencing new things with incredible tenacity! We are talking super-sized tenacity. Example- once he decided he was going to run a full marathon (Century Marathon, in New York), we are talking about 26.2 miles. The thing you need to know is that he had never run a marathon before in his entire 21 years of life! No training, and had never ran more that 5 miles distance collectively. He goes to New York, and takes 2nd place in his age category! He has always been the kind of person who sets his mind to do something, and then he does it. He lives his life wide open, with no fear of failure. One of my least favorite things about him is procrastination towards the details in his life that bore him. He will put those details off to the very last second!

I could bore you with endless lists of my favorite, and not-so- favorite things that make each of my kids my “Favorite” the lists are endless. The one detail I want you to know is that being their Mom has absolutely been my “Favorite.” 😉

My Sister Doesn’t Want Me To Use Her Famous Goat Picture (G-uno)

On our way back from the cemetery my Mom,and I were discussing buying some beautiful farmland another part of our little ritual. My sister was trying to sleep pretending that we did not just have a picnic with our dead Dad. We live in a large city, and our mother is an avid gardener so she likes to discuss on our long drive back how she would buy the land, and grow enormous amounts of food. I am a lover of goats so I tell her instead of  raising cattle we will raise goats. Since I couldn’t possibly eat my wonderful goats we will start an organic Feta cheese business.

Mom who grew up tending water buffalo in the rice patties of Southeast Asia agreed that she would prefer to raise goats. Inside I am completely amused because I know my sister who is pretending to sleep to avoid being drug into this conversation for the 100th time is listening to every word. So I add a little more to our story as Mom is happily surveying all the possibilities for the lush green land outside her backseat car window.

So I tell my mother that we should all have our own matching golf carts to ride around on our property with so we can keep up with whats going on with each of us. Next I tell Mom that we will use my sister’s famous goat picture on the label of our Feta cheese products. At this point my sister speaks up and says “I don’t want to have matching golf carts, and I definitely don’t want to known as the Feta cheese girl!” Mom and I burst into laughter.

My sister who is hands down one of my most favorite people in the world, is not the get dirty in the garden type like we are. She does not dig in the dirt, and she is not going to ride around in her golf cart with one of my goats in the passenger side. My sister is petite like Mom, a natural-born girly girl. She knows about all the current fashions. Her nails are impeccably done, and I am sure she secretly believes that there was some mix-up at the hospital which landed her smack dab into the middle of our little Hillbilly clan.

On our imaginary farm she would be found in an exquisite self designed cabin overlooking the waterfront, with a kitchen that would be the envy of all great chefs. She is an amazing cook. She collects cookbooks, often travels alone to other countries, is a huge animal lover who unlike me prefers them to people. Mostly because they don’t speak. My sister much like g2  is very happy to escape all social situations after a certain amount of time to retreat to the peace, and quiet of her own home.

The famous goat picture was one that I took of her while we were vacationing on Stone Mountain. We took my children who were very young to a petting zoo. There was one very animated goat who seemed to particularly love being photographed, so I took individual pictures of everyone with this comical goat. When it was my sister’s turn, she in her very dainty way posed next to the goat. Her knees slightly bent, hands on her lap and the goat seemed to take full notice of her. Just as I was about to take their picture the goat leaned in as if it were a human being, and posed face to face with my sister!

So in this picture you can clearly see that my sister perfectly posed, is humorously surprised, and the goat has a very human like almost smiling look upon it’s face which is posed cheek to cheek with her’s. This is one of my most favorite pictures in the world! It hangs proudly in our living room. My sister is beautiful, and I have many beautiful pictures of her elegantly dressed. So I know in her mind I have chosen to display this picture to appease my particular type of humor. I will admit to you that it does amuse me to no end. However I did not display this picture to “get her goat” I just love pictures that have the ability to transport you back to favorite moments in time. 😉

“He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother…” (G-uno)

His entrance into this world gave no clue to his intense uniqueness, or how his very existence would profoundly change our lives. He views his uniqueness as a constant burden to those of us who deeply love him. The truth is that even the worst day with him is a billion times better than a single day without him.

He was unique from the start. A beautiful baby boy with chocolate-colored eyes. So loving, and happy. He literally beamed when you spoke to him. He would lie flat on his back, and simultaneously lift both legs up, and then slam them both back down out of sheer excitement. I had never (and still have not) seen any other baby respond to interaction that way. I am 25 years older than my baby brother. My Mom, and I actually found out we were both pregnant at the same time. My first child and Mom’s fourth. Although she is not my biological mother, she is very much my mother. We are just like that movie with Steve Martin, and Diane Keaton.

Looking back now I realize that there were many signs along the way regarding his developmental stages. Things like the unusual way he would scoot along his backside instead of crawling, significantly delayed fine motor skills, his very unusual way of socializing with his peers. I think we all dismissed these characteristics as him being a lot more sheltered, and spoiled by our much older parents. Our other two siblings were in high school when the baby came along so in many ways he was like an only child.

He was pretty incredible in other ways. His memory for details was simply unmatched. If he was interested in a particular subject (trains, garbage trucks, sports team mascots,geography, and music on M-T.V.) His extensive knowledge was also unmatched! His love of these particular subjects made him oblivious to the fact that he would speak about them for hours on end never noticing that his listeners were unable to share his enthusiasms to the same extent. He was equally oblivious to other emotional ques which in turn made it extremely  difficult to fit into social situations.

This was the early 90’s, and very little was known about Asperger’s  Autism, so our brother missed out on the kind of therapy that children receive at a very early age today with this diagnosis. He spent his childhood always on the outside looking in desperately wanting to fit in and always unable to do so. It was so hard to watch, and we were completely at a loss on what to do to help him. This led to him being very isolated all through middle, and high school. The immense toll on his self-esteem increased on a daily basis.

Then at the age of 17 new, and even more confusing behaviors began to take place. We thought that he may have been drinking/drugging. He was extremely angry punching holes into doors, kicking his foot through walls. He seemed to be quite paranoid particularly towards my sister and I. He had even taken a metal object and scratched our faces out of a family photo. He remained in a constant state of agitation. After having him tested for substance abuse another doctor suggested it was time to see a psychiatrist.

We could clearly see that he was in emotional pain, and immediately made the appointment. It was sadly the first thing we had done correctly for our brother. We stumbled upon an excellent doctor who had him tested in a variety of ways. Our brother’s primary diagnosis is schizoaffective disorder this is closely related to schizophrenia except for the fact that our brother does not hear voices. He does experience bouts of delusional thinking, extreme anxiety, and paranoia. This disorder is sometimes referred to as the “college disease,” because it seems to exhibit its symptoms around the age of young adulthood around the end of high school, and the beginning of college. His secondary diagnosis is Asperger’s Autism.

His doctor put him on the lowest possible doses of medication, and we immediately saw improvement.  His doctor explained that this condition can not be cured by can be continually managed, and since he would have to take this medication the rest of his life it would be best to begin with the lowest dosage increasing slowly as needed. His diagnosis was both a blessing, and devastating to us. We grieve for his circumstance, but feel relief that we can manage his symptoms to a large degree.

My brother views his struggles with his mental illness as a burden to the rest of us. We are unable to convince him otherwise. This is absolute heart-break for us. He can not understand my level of admiration for the way he is, and has handled his life circumstance. He is not my burden in this life. He is my example, my teacher, and he is irreplaceable. 😉

family face-time (g2)

My family is pretty damn entertaining.

I tend to forget this in the year of not really spending time together, though I know not why. My family is one of those odd ones that has a high ratio of left-handed people, red-headed people, ADD and its ilk, high IQs and almost all smartasses. They are pretty hilarious. Though, whenever we socialize with family, my kid becomes mute. I’m not sure why. More on that another time.

My family has spent most of the last 30-40 years on shaky ground. Apparently, before I was born, the grandparent who died was the one who was the real glue of the family. The grand who raised me pretty made it their life mission to instill as much hate, doubt, hostility, rumors and bullshit among their kids and grandchildren. I vaguely remember a Christmas or two when it was all of us in a very tiny living room laughing, fighting, opening presents, and generally doing what families do, but it died pretty quick after that.

Aunts, uncles, mom, cousins all just got more and more distant from one another as the years wore on. The only family members I did manage to maintain contact with, though rare and sporadic, were my cousins. We seemed to see all the bullshit happening and just didn’t understand why our parentals just seemed to get sucked into grand’s bullshit over and over. This aunt doesn’t talk to this uncle, the uncles are not on good terms, mom refuses to be in the same room with this other uncle… and on and on. Of course, I say we stay in contact but its mostly keep up to date on one another’s Facebook postings. I cannot remember the last time we were all in a room together, but I’m pretty sure it was before puberty.

It was 30+ layers of bitterness and bullshit we’ll probably never really be able to completely uncover. Grand’s eldest was basically their twin, which means they didn’t care for their eldest much since they hated the things about their eldest child they really hated about themselves. I suspect there was also a level of jealousy there as their eldest got a college degree while grand had no such thing (different era, different goals). I refer to the eldest as TAIWASAPD (The aunt I wish a slow and painful death), or simply “Junior”.

My mom was the youngest and a good dozen years or so from the first, so they didn’t really know one another too well. However, me and the TAIWASAPD’s kid got along much like siblings. Especially since many summers he stayed with me and grand. We were both loners, artistic types, loved music, we bottled everything up, we didn’t talk to anyone about anything that was troubling us annnnnd of course, we fought like hell.

I was the younger of the two so it was always my cousin who got in trouble, since he “should know better.” I instigated about 99.9% of it, but it was usually he who paid the piper for it. I was especially adept at the “I’m not touching you, I’m not touching you” taunt in which my fingers would linger just a half-centimeter above the skin of his arm moving up and down as quickly and annoyingly as possible, usually in the back of the car on long road trips. His plea of “make them stop ‘not touching me’!!!!” was generally ignored, so it went on until he just had it, pinned me down and starting slinging. Then it was on. That’s normally when the parentals would deign to involve themselves.

I’m pretty sure we got hit with a brush more than once, since it gave them those extra few inches they needed to get to our legs in the backseat (I kind of miss the size of cars back then).

Now, neither of us was innocent. I was pinned down and had my forehead drooled on more than I can count. I had my shoes hooked onto the ceiling fan (I was too short to reach at the time). I am pretty sure I knocked my cousin out once by clocking his head on the corner of a drawer, but I didn’t realize that until years later. His favorite thing in the world was to play opossum and grab you when you got too close. So for the next couple hours he was out, I would fly down the stairs, peek, sneak across the room, kick him and then fly back up like my ass was on fire. I just KNEW he was faking. I’ve had my hand stuffed down the dish disposal and pinned there while he threatened to turn it on. To this day, he still swears that one never happened.

It was with this cousin that we discovered the beauty and the horror that is the combination of Jolt cola (“All the sugar and twice the caffeine” anyone?) and Sour Cream & Onion popcorn. We were enjoying a rare moment of quietly watching a movie when this waft of stench eked across our noses. The next ten minutes was spent accusing the other of an SBD (silent but deadly). When one of us happened to belch during the argument, we figured out what the stench was. Apparently the combination of these items allows the consumer to belch some of the foulest gases that have ever crawled out of a person’s face. It is an eau de toilette aroma of old lady fart, 3 year old daily used gym socks, and a sewage plant on a hot summer day right after the halftime session of a football game. Yeah, you’re welcome.

We spent the next 30 minutes after that trying to belch in one another’s face. I’m pretty sure we came to a draw due to light-headed nausea and I still have no idea what movie we were watching or if we ever finished it.

Now that we’re grown…. well, we still talk smack, but we do it over beers. We have kids of our own and as close as we were and are, we kind of painfully watch as our own two very similar children sit in a room together in silence. Neither one will instigate a conversation. I’ve been told by both on different occasions “they looked at me funny so I don’t think they like me.” You’d think one was copying the interests of the other they have so much in common, but then you realize they don’t talk about anything they are interested in when they are around one another. Neither is active on Facebook, they don’t email one another and even when we have gone on shared vacations, they just don’t interact with one another much. I know forcing it would backfire and the best friendships happen organically, but for me, its sad. I want badly to undo the damage grand left behind and I think every missed relationship can be traced back to them somehow as the core problem. Possibly unrealistic, but I cannot help but feel like they are still winning, even if they aren’t around anymore.

Little Man’s Big Brother (G-uno)

Being Little Man’s big brother is in no way an easy journey to be handed in life. I tend to believe it’s the sort of thing that is responsible for creating either the heroes or the villains in life. Imagine there you are the sun, and the moon of your parent’s world. You are their first, the very reason they tumble out of bed in morning. A role in life that is truly fit for a king. Then after a year and a month your glorious reign comes literally to a screeching halt.

Your thirteen months old, so a verbal explanation of this halt to a perfectly pleasant reign is useless. This was a situation that you were going to have to learn by experience. To add insult to injury, this new invasion comes with inabilities that require your already new parents to completely focus on trying to meet his particular needs. At this point there isn’t a single parent out there that is not feeling extreme empathy for these new parents. One can only imagine the difficulty of this circumstance.The kind of inner strength one has to posses to even begin to face such a challenging journey is almost unthinkable.

In life it’s a very natural instinct for a parent to provide a more focused attention on the child who requires this kind of care. I suspect that in some way deep down inside, even siblings are aware that this is necessary. However knowing this does not lessen the sting of having someone else (sibling or otherwise) command your parents attention. Being Little Man’s big brother is going to be a life altering experience to say the very least.

I will give you some relief here,” Big Brother” is extremely intelligent. He’s a kind of an old soul type. Being a nine year old boy, he is just beginning to see that he isn’t the center of the world in a way that is stinging a little less these days. Watching him react to his world is pretty great from my perspective. I’ve worked very hard to earn his respect. He understands that I am yet another adult who adores “Little Man”. My bond with his brother initially angered him (Little Man posses a undeniable magnetic charm), but he is starting to understand that I also see him with adoring eyes. Big Brother has all the qualities of a young hero in the making. 😉