Tuesday, March 04, 2008

So. Tired.

In 24 hours, maybe life will be back to normal.

I've been the stand-in for my sister-in-law since she went to Miami on Sunday morning. Johnny and I are staying with her two girls, and coordinating the how and when of their VERY BUSY lives. There is school, dance, volleyball, homework, proper meals, clean uniforms, showers and not a lot of sleep in between.

Johnny is having a ball- he loves his cousins. They have been super sweet and patient with him, too. I have learned that nothing eases the pain of a 6:30 am wake up like the sight of Johnny. He pads into their dark bedroom and can hardly stand the fact that it has been nine hours since he last saw them. "Hi, 'nina! Hi, 'nana! What're you DOING?" They go from grumps to giggles in 15 seconds.

The sleeping situation is less than ideal- we are staying up later than normal and waking up early. But I've decided that it is really good for me to shake it up once in a while. I can get pretty crazy about our schedule, and since we're not headed to NASA or the air traffic control tower at O'Hare in the mornings, so what if we're tired? We'll manage.

My sister in law does this mostly by herself. I've marveled at that fact several times so far this week. She's divorced, and while she shares custody with her ex, he's not very reliable. Hence the frantic, teary call asking if I could do this for her since he backed out. I've also been examining my own motivation this week. L (the sister in law), and I are not friends, in fact we just barely get along most of the time. I love her girls very much. They are great kids. I'm glad to be there with them, though I don't think they are totally comfortable with me. I know they miss their parents, and the familiar routine. Last night when T came by there was a recognizable change in the atomosphere- everyone seemed to exhale finally. I wish he could have been around more, but he has the flu, so he is barely upright.

I remember my childhood and how my own single mom seemed to have a lot of support. I don't think that L does. I'm sad for her and the girls if this is true. Everyone deserves to have a person they can rely on. If it weren't for my people I wouldn't make it for a minute, and I don't have HALF the commitments that L and her girls do. Now, I waste a lot of time and headspace on the fairness of things, wondering if people would do for me the things I do for them. This is a shitty way to live, and a habit I desperately would like Johnny to avoid. L wouldn't do this for me, she wouldn't do it for her brother either, which is a thing that makes me sad. But I would do it for her. I would do it for the girls. I hope someday Johnny will do it for his loved ones.

I also hope that L and I can repair some damage when she gets back. Walking around in her shoes for just this little bit of time has made me realize that what seeems like selfishness is maybe just survival.


Blogger Lynne said...

Oh Kel - how perceptive and generous of you. No, really. It's not easy doing that for your own family, and much more difficult (if temporary) for another.
And I know two boys who would Love to be woken up by Johnny! Speaking of which, I may bring them out sometime during spring break, April 14-18. Will you be around (please please pretty please?) As you've figured out, adults are OK, but they really just want to see Kathryn and Johnny, not necessarily in that order.

1:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Johnny is lucky to have such a big family on both sides. Can't wait till spring break. We'll have a blast.

5:56 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home