That's Me

That's Me

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Month of Thankfulness Part IV

I'm thankful for... in-laws. I had nightmare in-laws the first time around. I could write a book just about them. This time, I'm ever so grateful for my Mom 2, Dad 2, & hubby's Sister. We get along great, we love each other, & from day one I have truly felt a part of the family. I love that I can go to them with any problem & cry on their shoulders. I love that I can be my absolutely normal self & they accept me for who I am. I love that they can do the same with me. I love that they all "get" me so much because I am a lot like my Mother-in-law. I love the fact that, unlike my first set, I actually look forward to spending time with them. I enjoy them. I am also beyond grateful for the way they welcomed my children with open arms. I'm sure they had their own various thoughts about their son/brother marrying a woman with 27 children (or what feels like it) but they never let my children feel anything but love from the first day they met them. It means so much to me that they never thought of my children as the "other" kids or made them feel like outsiders. Not all families are that accepting of step-children & I am forever grateful that my children do not know that feeling. obviously strong genes & intelligence. I'm so thankful my kids got my intelligence instead of that other person's. I'm also thankful that every single one of them looks like me because out of their 2 parents, I'm the cuter one (obviously). Amazing Grace looks & acts just like me now, except for her hair color. Boy Teenager looks a lot like my brother, except for his eye color. Blondie looks just like I did at her age. Ginger Girl looks & acts just like I did at her age, except for her eye color. family. They are the ones that my genes come from, after all. I've learned a lot about unconditional love, support, & who will always have my back from my family. I'm thankful for each person in my family: parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, everyone is in this category. Except my brother because... baby brother is so special he gets his own spot. I could fill up this whole post & a million more just about my brother & all that I'm grateful for about him. There isn't enough bandwidth on this blog for me to put it all on here for everyone to read. That boy means the world to me. I call him "baby brother" & "boy" even though he's 31 & towers over me, because he will always be my baby. I've been told that when he was brought home from the hospital, my Aunt brought me home & I ran into the house, froze in place, & in my little 2 year old voice cried, "Baby!!" From that day forward, he was the baby brother I was very proud of.

Starting out his life in the NICU was just the beginning of the struggles my brother would have in life. Fighting to breath & just stay alive was such work that his little body would have seizure after seizure while my parents could only helplessly sit & watch. Born 3 months premature with underdeveloped hearing, my brother had to learn how to adjust to a hearing world in a hearing family. Learning how to talk when he couldn't properly hear the words & wanting to be accepted by kids who saw him as too different were on his to-do list even as a tiny little guy. Is it any wonder I became not only his translator but his body guard? Is anyone really shocked that I punched kids in the face for picking on him? That any time he had to face a new situation or wasn't sure what to do, he looked to me? And that I loved every second of it?

As a kid, my brother would come to me when he was scared. I could always get him to calm down by explaining what was going on. I never wanted him to stop trusting me so I quickly figured out how to help him in any situation. We were very close siblings & spent hours playing a game we invented that we called Protectors. It involved various circumstances where my Barbies needed his GI Joes to be their body guards. We would take over the entire upstairs hall in our game. Sometimes we also included the dog.

While he was looking to me as his big sister; I was learning a lot from my baby brother. I learned patience & exactly what love is. I learned how to see beyond disabilities to the real heart of people. I learned to be understanding of people & not always make snap judgments based on first appearances. I learned that sometimes that guy who seems to be ignoring me may be hard of hearing. Or that lady who looks drunk may have a mental disability that causes her to walk & talk differently. He also taught me that everyone has something to be jealous of: I remember one time there was a bad storm that woke me up in the middle of the night. I've never been scared of storms but this one time & I laid in my bed shaking. At that moment I was very jealous of the fact that my brother could take his ears off at night & not hear that storm.

Even in our 30's I still feel very protective of him & watch his face to see how he is handling certain situations. He reads lips & signing isn't his main means of communication anymore but the 2 of us still sign behind our parents' backs so they don't know we're talking about them. We still look at each other from across a quiet room & make faces at each other to make the other laugh when it's wildly inappropriate.

Yeah, my baby brother will always be my baby brother. I will always have a special spot in my heart just for that boy.

Christmas 2011 with my hubby & my brother.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Come on, spill what you're thinkin'...