The More Things Change

Christmas has come and gone, with the requisite family love and confusion. I have loved having my son home on leave, and my nephew, too. The two of them are about six months apart and are like brothers, because neither one had an actual brother. I hope they remain close throughout their lives. I’ve convinced Andy to eat just a few cookies, even though he accuses me of trying to make him fat.

My dad seems happy to have us all around him. I remember my mom saying once that we were all mistakes, that he never really wanted to have children. Many times while we were growing up, I heard him call us “damn kids.” And she always said that she raised us herself, with not much help from him. But anymore, I can’t be with Dad without him (and me too) wanting a hug, and feeling an immense love for him.

My sister Bev is head over heels in love with her new boyfriend. He seems to be in love with her, too. She is staying with my dad at the moment, and Dad says Bob calls her at least two or three times a day. She’s been in limbo since she moved back to Iowa in August, looking for a job and wondering where to live. I predict — now that she has an online contract job, she will get an apartment in Omaha so she can be closer to him. Or, she might move in with him, because she did that with Jerry. Maybe she is just hanging around, waiting for him to ask her. I won’t be surprised when it happens.

Alicia and Cyrus are in Idaho, scouting out colleges and places to live. Cyrus is a free spirit, wandering from interest to interest, but I hope he’s finally found something he wants to do for at least a few years. Barb, my sister and Bev’s twin sister, abdicated the family Christmas on Saturday and the Christmas Day hang out because her husband decided he needed to “get away.” They went to Minnesota…not the ideal winter getaway, but that’s just my opinion. Bev thinks, and so do Dad and I, that she is kind of a door mat and will do anything her husband says she needs to do. She owned the “get away” phrase and told us that she needed to “get away.” Get away from us? She rarely comes to Dad’s house, anyway. We all just shrugged, Bev was pretty angry, but what can you do? We’ll just let her alone to be with her husband. David sided with him, actually. He said that if her husband wanted to go somewhere, then Barb’s responsibility was to go with him. But like Bev said, why couldn’t they have waited until Sunday, after our family Christmas on Saturday? I don’t care much about seeing Doug, but for him to tell his wife he couldn’t come to her family Christmas and see her two nephews who were home on leave, one who is getting ready to deploy again, is just cruel, I think.

I feel a little more grounded in reality today. Having your family around really helps you take stock of what really matters in life. Working on a new logo for a sermon series at church helps me stay focused on what is truly important. I have to say that my Florida friend did respond to the card I sent, he and his girlfriend sent a card in return. It was nice, kind of a play on a sunny beachy Christmas with Santa in a Hawaiian shirt building a snowman out of sand, but I couldn’t help but be disappointed. My friend has talked about being a Christian and being raised Baptist, but he certainly doesn’t live like it. I had considered some interesting and painful possibilities for a while, but not anymore. It would have been a bad choice. It never hurts to give something time to stew.

David broke my computer. I wasn’t really mad, because it’s the kind of thing he does to me every so often, breaks my stuff, but I was really sad. I was sitting on the couch, and set it aside when it was time to go to bed. He got up in the middle of the night, as usual, and when he found Andy asleep on the couch in the family room, he moved my computer onto the floor and slept on the couch in the living room. Well, in the morning, he got up and stepped right onto my computer, and shattered the screen.

My dad gave us a thousand dollars for Christmas, a hugely generous gift, but I was going to use it to catch up on bills. The thought is there, though, that I could use some of it to get a new computer. Still thinking. Going to look at iPads today, because I like my iPhone so much. Returning the clothes that David got me, too, because though I liked them very much, I am not a petite large. Maybe that hundred dollars could go to a new computer, too.

I’m getting very close to writing about what I got myself for Christmas, since nobody apparently seems to be reading this, which was the intent. I spent about $65 total, and I love love love it, it was just what the doctor ordered for my mid-life crisis. It was kind of a silly thing to do, but I am so glad I did. I think everyone needs a little dose of silly in their life. Texting every day with Kevin is silly, but I think it works because both of us just need a friend. I know when he meets a nice girl and settles down, he won’t text me anymore, but that’s okay. Life goes on. The children grow up. Our parents pass away and then it’s our turn. Things change, Suddenly, or slowly, they still change. We adapt. We are upset with our spouse, then we get over it. Our children disappoint us, then they make us proud.

When Andy goes back to California, he will sit for MARSOC selection, then go through some of the toughest training in the armed forces. I’m so very proud of him. But I’m still going to feed him cookies while he’s here.

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