As we speak, my daughter is on her way back to college. This is the first time that she doesn’t want to go back. It is because we are cool and all that. Seriously though, it is amazing having a child that wants to hang out with you versus having one that finds you annoying. She is finally able to see us as we really are.
To tell you the truth, I think parenting is a sham. We try to act like someone else around our children. We want them to be better than us. Part of the way we do that is try to hide our weaknesses and mistakes from our children. We nag our teens about being responsible and cleaning their rooms when we were back talking brats that lived in a pig sty like they do. Then suddenly they become adults. For better or worse, the blinders come off. We realize that our child has become a friend because she is really just like us.
We don’t have to lie to her anymore. We don’t have to tell elaborate stories about the tooth fairy, Easter bunny, or Santa. We don’t have to show fake excitement for stupid children’s songs or TV shows. When Angel was little, she was really into Barney. I sure am glad that is over now. If I had to listen to another song about cooperation and sharing from a purple dinosaur while my kids sat in front of the TV and fought, I would probably lose it.
Now we can have fun together and have serious conversations.
There were a lot of last minute dinner dates and shopping to send Angel back off to college.
On Friday, Angel and I went out to eat with my mom for lunch. We went to a local restaurant that wasn’t too busy and what did they do?? They set us up at a table next to and facing a couple with their adult disabled son. The couple was trying hard to get their son to act appropriately. He got up several times and burped loudly. Can I never escape reminders of my own brother??
My mom said that she really wants me to write a book with her. I also feel the mission that I have a story to tell.
I actually have two stories to tell…
The first story is about my brother Matt…growing up with a violent autistic/schizophrenic sibling. I have just touched the tip of the iceberg. There is so much hidden underneath the surface that I haven’t even begun to delve into yet.
But I can only tell the story in small pieces. There is a sadness, melancholy, depression that is hard to explain after diving into the depths. If I spend too much time there, I will surely drown.
I am a broken person, despite my tough exterior. Only a few people truly realize that. You are one of the few people I let inside. Paul notices so many things that others overlook. He understands. We are both high functioning broken people. Silently we weep together. Together we succeed at fighting our demons.
It is hard to find someone on the same level who has survived difficult circumstances. I’m thankful that we found each other.
The second story I was meant to tell is about Paul. So I am going to switch gears a little bit here…but trust me if you can…it will be well worth the ride.