Friday, August 04, 2006

Welcome Back.

Me, that is.

You've been right there, waiting patiently for the next pearl of wisdom to spew forth from my well-worn keyboard.

Yeah, right.

But back I am, in the familiar Swillburg surroundings of sanctimonious Smugtown.

Pretty peppy prose, eh, pal?*

It was great visiting my brother. Especially since he has central air and an inground pool, and we were there right during the teeth of the heatwave. I tell ya, sitting around in 100 degree heat and 100 percent humidity is much easier to tolerate if you know that you can take three steps this way and plunge headfirst into cool water, or take three steps that way and be sitting in a 75 degree living room.

My kids had a blast. Two-thirds of my brother's children are really sweet kids. The third one (the eldest daughter) has issues, but she's always at least civil to my kids.

And their friends are nice too. As are my brother's friends.

My 48-year-old brother is the captian of his volleyball team**, and he had two of them over to swim on Tuesday. One's a 6'7" civil engineer, and the other's a corporate manager for a regional drugstore chain. One's 24, the other's 23. One's a gangly, balding dude, and the other's going to go back to school, and is going to pay for it by being a Hooter's Girl, and will probably pay for her tuition her first week.

And at least one of them has a huuge crush on my bro. And it ain't the engineer.

It was interesting to see the family dynamics of a person who is, for all intents and purposes, my clone. We were born from the same parents less than two years apart, so our genetic, familial and societal influences are, statistically speaking, identical. Yet, his life and mine are vastly different.

His life is far from idyllic. His oldest tries to run the family through selfish rage and violence, and everyone in the household is afraid of her. Child number two gets the brunt of the anger that should be directed at the oldest sister, and tries very hard to be the perfect daughter. The youngest spends as much time as possible at her friends house. His wife, a prison nurse, is a recovering alcoholic. I could easily see how to fix his life. I am proud that I didn't even attempt it, although I do confess I was sorely tempted to give advice. But I didn't. I merely enjoyed their company and loved them all.

I'm also proud of they way I've managed my childrens' summer vacation. A week of inactivity followed by eleven days in Vegas. Another week, then a week with me at my brothers. Ten days home, then another week at camp. One final week plus a holiday, then it's back to school!

Hope your summer's going well.

Yeharr

*bonus points to anyone who can tell me what movie that line's from...
**sound scarily, disturbingly familiar?

10 Comments:

Blogger terry said...

a lot of alliteration from anxious anchors in powerful posts...

oh, don't get me started. i know half that movie by heart!

"i say it here, it comes out there."
"meet me at the place near the thing where we went that time."

do i need to name it, to win the prize?

"broadcast news."

3:12 AM  
Blogger Madame X said...

I've got a twin...an Irish Twin.
My sister is only 15 months younger than myself.

We could not be more different though. She hates my life and I hate hers so we have that going for us!

I want a volley ball player to have a crush on me!

7:47 AM  
Blogger Dark Lady said...

Out of curiosity, what would you do in your brother's place?
I mean what would you do about the eldest daughter not the potential Hooter's girl.

8:10 AM  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

Dark: I would tell her goodbye. She would not live with me. There are boundaries that are not to be crossed, and abuse is one of them.

I would tell her that I would be happy to help her find a place, but I will not pay for it. I would tell her there are groups and individuals that could help her deal with the issues that cloud her life, but I will not pay for them, nor would I force her to go there.

If she wants to live out her days blaming her parents for all the horrible things that happen to her, then that will be her choice. But it's her choice, and no one else's.

It would be the best gift I could give her. It's her life and she needs to start living it.

Until she gets past trying to hurt her parents for the wrongs (some real, some imagined) that were inflicted on her, she will not be able to live a happy life.

Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.

Yeharr

12:27 PM  
Blogger Dark Lady said...

I do not think you are wrong at all.

8:35 AM  
Blogger mal said...

sounds like a Jack Nicholson line...

It is interesting how sibs can be so different and still similar. I see it with my brothers and with my daughters. Maybe its the similarities that enhance the differences?

8:52 AM  
Blogger Life, or Something Like It said...

How old is this kid? Does your brother know that you are writing these things about him,his family? How helpful is it to tell a kid 'you can get help here, butI'm not paying for it'? Not very helpful, at all. Our children need our support. If that is your attitude, thank God I'm not your kid. Thank God that YOUR kids are perfect.

6:59 PM  
Blogger Heidi the Hick said...

The relationships between siblings sure can be tricky. I love my sister so much and we too, are so very different. Thankfully we just note the differences and enjoy being two different people.

9:10 PM  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

Life: thanks for stopping by.

To answer your questions and respond to your statements:
19.
No. Will you tell them? Do you even know who they are?
It's as helpful as the kid wants it to be.
I disagree. I think it's the only gift that they have left to give her.
Yes, they need our support. How is letting a kid get away with violent rages support? More importantly, what sort of message does it give to the other two, who get battered and bruised by this one, to allow her to continue?

Yes, thank God.

What makes you think that I think they are?

And, may I remind you, I told him none of this. I didn't even post it. It was a response to a question asked by someone else. My opinion doesn't really matter here. It's just what I would do in a similar situation.

Keep coming back.

Yeharr

2:05 AM  
Blogger Life, or Something Like It said...

Pirate-I absolutly agree with you that she should not be allowed to batter and bruise the other members of the family. The other children do need to be sent the right message.
Obviously, I do not know your brother. Would I tell him if I did? Not in a million years.
I just wonder if he would be hurt by your opions and assesments of his family.
Thanks for the feed back. I think that you are a very talented writer,and I look forward to reading more...

4:25 PM  

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