Claire and I are sitting on the couch together. I haven't been on the computer in days (unless you count watching some netflix with the hubbs a couple of days ago and watching The Mindy project while I folded laundry before bed last night. Are you watching the Mindy project? You should. Totally hilarious). I haven't been on the computer because my kids can't seem to ever nap at the same time. And yesterday they were tag-team crying. Claire cried all morning and Noah cried all afternoon. So now Claire is watching youtube videos while I sit and actually write something.
I've tried to not let her watch TV or videos very often. I think that's going to have to change. It's cold and snowy here today and if either of us are going to keep our sanity we may just have to embrace youtube videos. We've already taken to going to McDonalds about once a week to get an ice cream and play on the indoor playground. 99 cents (the price of a cone) for unlimited playtime and kids who all excitedly talk to us in other languages (including the darling-est, chubbiest, Hispanic girl who ran up to Claire, said hello and took a big bite of her ice cream. Claire looked at me and said, "maybe we should come back when our friend goes home"). Worth every penny.
My Uncle Mike died yesterday. He has been battling cancer for a couple of years. He moved into my parent's house about 6 months ago and then two weeks ago he moved to a home because he needed more care than my parent's could provide.
In junior high and high school I used to describe Uncle Mike as my relative who was stuck in the 70's. He wore terrible, polyester clothing and thick horn rimmed glasses (that would be highly coveted by any hipster today). I am embarrassed to say that my descriptions weren't very kind. I didn't realize that Uncle Mike wasn't making a decision to be the way he was. I didn't realize that his complete awkwardness and the way he would spend whole family parties not making eye contact were most likely symptoms of undiagnosed developmental disorder like autism. Because Uncle Mike lived with what we think was an untreated developmental disorder he didn't really have meaningful relationships and aside from his siblings, he didn't have anyone to be with him at the end. He didn't have anyone to talk to and mourn with. He never married, never had kids, to my knowledge never had any kind of meaningful relationship with any member of the opposite sex. His family tried to take care of him. One family had him to Sunday dinner for years, one family come stay every summer for a week but Uncle mike was hard to love.
One of the things I have been grateful for in this season of Thanksgiving is that I do have meaningful relationships with others because I have seen what the end is like when you do not. I am grateful for friends, family, and parents who taught me to love. Yesterday I went to the bathroom leaving the kids snuggled on my bed. When I came back this is what I found.
It is one of the most touching and moving parts of parenting for me to see my children show love in the way my parents showed me.