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June 14, 2010


Older kids: well, I always thought to myself that they give them to you little because each stage builds on the one before it. . . which is to say that older kids are tough in a new and different way, but not as tough as if they just handed you one.

I'm so glad you're having this time with your dad, and he's mentally there in a way that you feel like you're connecting. He kind-of emotionally shut down when I was three, and I never *really knew* what was going on in his head after that. My dad has been dead 9 months and just last night I was thinking "How can he be dead? I still remember what it felt like to be five and sitting in his arms . . ."


I meant "[my dad] shut down . . ."

Stupid re-arrangeable sentences.

I knew what you meant, Meira. :)

Also, oh my god. Heartbreaking.

My experience with my mentally ill daughter is that she is always positive and motivated when in a crisis, or in a controlled environment. Its always when she has to leave the institutional bubble and get back to navigating the waters of reality that she falls apart again. I pray that it's different for him.

Older kids are fun. I think older girls are probably more complicated than older boys. But maybe older boys are more aggravating. Mine are in the "butt, fart, etc." phase of life. The most annoying thing ever. They can't say Peanut butter and not to giggle non stop, 'cause it has "pee" & "butt" in it. AH, BOYS.

I don't miss the babies and toddlers as much as I thought I would, ya know.

What a beautiful, beautiful post there about your dad. I hope he can heal and still spend some meaningful time with his grandchildren before his time comes.

Melissa, well, not really. When Dad goes "back home" (in this case, with my aunt and uncle) his...behaviors get exacerbated again. The long-term plan is for him to live in an institutional setting of some sort, care level TBD -- he can never live by himself again, though. Not the same kind of heartbreak as it is for an 18-year-old, though.

Lilian, does it help at all to know that I filled the front covers of my childhood books with (in crayon): "PEE PEE POO POO PEE PEE POO POO PEE PEE POO POO" the second I learned to write? And that my sister's auntie nickname is based on the sound of her constant farting?

No? It doesn't?

You've captured here how complex love really is, especially with family.

For your dad: you are/were justified in feeling angry; but are wise and lucky to be able to set that aside at least for the moment and be able to relive those sweet memories.

For S: you are entering the years when you will be cementing those same sweet kind of memories with her. As infuriating as kids can be at this age, one day she'll look back on those home cooked meals, and swimming and baking and fixing her room in the new house, and the million other things you do for and with her each day.

And the great news is that you both will likely be able to sit and smile and laugh about the impulse to pack a bag of dry cous cous.

Take good care of yourself.

Jo, so glad to hear your dad's doing better. I'd give anything to still have my mom whether she caused her own demise or not. It tears me up when I think about how much pain she had to have had for so long before letting any of us know and seeing a doctor just two weeks before she died, when nothing could be done for her. She gets a pass from me. Thirteen years later I still want my mom. I wish you many, many new, happy times with your dad.

Glad your dad is doing well. Thinking about you... all of you.

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