Widgets Magazine

Jun 1, 2011

Bringing Them Together

Memorial Day weekend was rather crazy and busy for us, but then so is every other day…We spent most of Friday getting ready for the Drama Queen to move home. Except for my sweetie, who was busy planting the garden since we actually got a day that wasn’t totally wet and soggy. The Drama Queen has finally finished her TRIPLE major (English, Theater, and Education) and other than her student teaching, she is ready to graduate.

We are excited to have her closer to home. She has been about 4 hours away, so that means she can only come home for major holidays (Mothers’ Day is NOT a major holiday…). So on Monday I sent my sweetie and Teach in our huge van without most of the seats, and the Gym Rat and Princess in Grandpa’s truck across the state to pick up the Drama Queen. She finished her classes on Friday, so she had two days to get all her crap packed and ready to go. We knew she wouldn’t be able to leave until Tuesday because of the holiday since she had to turn in her keys to an insurance office. But at least they could pack everything up and bring it home and she could follow the next day.

At home we were moving kids around, cleaning closets, and preparing a room for her. I wanted her to be right in the thick of things. Sport is nearly 8 years old and he doesn’t remember when the Drama Queen lived at home. Needless to say, neither do any of the younger kids. I recognized this problem with my kids about 2 weeks ago when the guys were preparing for fathers and sons camp.

Curly was helping me pack the cooler and I was wondering out loud what drinks to put in for the Gym Rat. "Why is the Gym Rat coming with us?" he questioned.
"Why wouldn’t he come?" I slipped some diet Cherry Pepsi from the box into the cooler for my sweetie.
Curly looked at me sideways, "He’s not part of our family," he said.
"Of course he’s part of our family!" I was taken completely by surprise.
The confusion was obvious in his little face. "Why don’t you think he’s part of our family?" I sat in the nearest chair and pulled him onto my lap so we could have a real conversation.
"Well, he doesn’t live here," he said matter-of-factly.
"He’s your brother!" I exclaimed.
"He’s not my brother," he said promptly.
"Yes, he is!"

Like there is any doubt. Curly (left) Gym Rat (right)
This conversation lasted the better part of a week before I finally convinced him that the Gym Rat really was his brother. But mostly it got me thinking about the fact that I sort of have two families. The younger kids don’t really know the older kids. That’s why when the opportunity came to have the Drama Queen move back in for the summer, I decided that she would have to live upstairs with the little kids so there wouldn’t be any question that she was their sister.

We waited anxiously for the vehicles to arrive Monday night. They had been stuck on the freeway near Fillmore for over an hour because of a huge accident. We were so surprised when we opened the door and saw the Drama Queen here a day early and safe and sound with the rest of our crew. It took our little army about 20 minutes to unload all three vehicles. Even Curly ran back and forth carrying small boxes and pillows. But then it started all over again today…he asked me about half a dozen times when the Drama Queen was leaving to go back to her house. Then I had to explain that she wasn’t leaving. And yes, she was his sister.

Has anybody else faced a problem like this? How did you solve it? We will send a pair of Grandma’s homemade hot-pads to three great suggestions (selected in a random drawing to be held on Fathers’ Day – June 19, 2011).


silvertag said...

That's a tough one! My family is blended so large by my standards LOL but not nearly as large as yours! Perhaps yearly family photos with the entire family? Good luck!

tammy said...

I have never had that problem, but sometimes I wonder if they're actually mine ;)

Corine said...

I understand you dilemma... from the perspective of a child. I am the second oldest of 8 kids. I married and left home when the youngest was a baby. Four years after baby sister was born, I had my first child... far from home. I seldom saw my family.

One day I took my own baby on a train and traveled to mom and dads’. Dad picked me up, and took me home to mom, who I noticed was busy combing the waist length hair of a child she was caring for when I arrived.

Mom and I embarrassed, and soon mom resumed combing the little girl's hair. After a few minutes of visiting with each other, I recognized the little girl under all that hair. I began to wonder if it was my sister. In shock, I burst into tears at the realization that I didn't even know my own sister. I am still trying to get to know her... and progress is only made during times when I make extra effort to reach out to her; she is now about 22 years old.

Looking back there are many things I can easily regret. I wish we had exchanged frequent photos. I wish we had called each other and written letters often - from the beginning. It could be discouraging to look back, but I choose to learn from the past, while looking forward to the future; and that is encouraging...

I hope to one day be very close to ALL of my siblings; I love them all dearly, but living far apart and seldom interacting…, I don’t know how well we know each other. I realize I must make more consistent efforts for these things to happen. As my desire for this grows, so do my efforts. As my efforts increase, so do marvelous fruits in an increase of love and understanding… which are worth so much more than the small sacrifices it takes to get them!

I am thankful for my big family, and it matters not to me now if we were raised in the same house at the same time or not. We are still family. And we have a bond as such which will continue to strengthen and grow as we nourish it.

Best of wishes...

Shell said...

My kids were born one right on top of another, so we don't have this problem!

Have the older ones babysit the younger? Oh wait, that might just be a dream I have! LOL

LeAnn said...

This was a very cute post. I guess my thoughts are that maybe the older child could spend some one on one time with the younger ones and it would help them feel the bond.
Blessings to you!

M-Cat said...

I hadn't even thought of that! My next sister and I are 11 years apart and didn't really grow up together, but she always knew I was her sister.

Sometimes with Chloee, Uncle Tuffy seems more like a brother to Chloee.

Helene said...

Wow, I can see all this would be confusing for such a little guy!! Not quite sure how to deal with this, being that my two sets of twins are only 2 years apart and basically can't stand one another most of the time!!

Thanks for your comment on my Treading Water post. Coming from an experienced mother, it was very comforting!

Sarah said...

I was the youngest of 9. I know how your kids feel, as when I was growing up, people were steadily moving out. By the time I was 4 the oldest three were long gone. By 12, it was just me and my 2 brothers at home.
What my mom did was make them out to be legends. She was constantly talking about my sisters when they were kids. Even though I rarely saw them (some of them lived 12 hours away), I felt like I knew them as well as my brothers because how much my mom talked about them. They were like celebrities, kind of. I constantly heard stories about them, and so I was super excited to get to see them when they would come to visit. That made me more than proud to be able to say they were my brother or sister.

Crazymamaof6 said...

My herd is lined up one every year. They wish they had more space i'm sure. My older sisters were out of the house and married by the time I was 8.

For birthdays they'd take me out to movies or for a treat.

I baby sat their babies and became the favorite aunt.

Once I was married with kids of my own we became equals. We even ended up with a few of our kids lining up the same age.

We all live close by and we get together on Sundays and once a month for family night. It helped us to reconnect when I was little and now the cousins are best friends.

Becky and Steve said...

My half brother and I are almost exactly 14 years apart. He is the product of my dads first marriage. When my other brother and I were younger he would visit every other weekend and a few weeks in the summer. When my parents had a chance they would have him babysit so they could get away and we could get to know him a little better. We looked up to him and loved when he would come visit. We wished he was with us more often,

Becky and Steve said...

My half brother and I are 14 years apart. He is the product of my dads first marriage. My parents had him babysit whenever they had a chance. So he could get to know us and us to know him. Because of that we idolized him to pieces. We wished he would live with us and not go back to his moms house. We looked forward to his visits every time he would come.


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