Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Boys

This blog is devoted to my boys. I have three of them. Jake just turned 12. Luke will be 10 on Saturday. Joseph is 7, 8 in October. They are the funniest kids. All kids are funny, and all kids are every parent's joy. I am writing this because I want to have a way to record our life together. I am raising them by myself, and we are very close, closer I think because of that. We lived with my parents for a while after I got divorced. When we moved back out, I gave the whole "we are a team" speech, and they have really taken that speech to heart. I told them that I couldn't do everything myself and that they were responsible for helping maintain the house and get things done. They really contribute, each in their own little ways, and if there can be a blessing in a lost marriage, it is that we are our own little unit.

They are all so different that it makes for a fun family dynamic.

Jake is the quiet and reserved one. But his brain is never silent. The child is always thinking and comes out with the most off the wall observations and questions. He is an internalizer (from me) and is more sensitive than he appears. He has definite opinions and feels things deeply.

Luke has never met a stranger. He is gregarious and lives his life as though it is a performance. While he is always ready with a joke, he is very conscientious and gets things done. He wears his emotions on his sleeve, and expresses himself at will.

Joseph is my little one. He is brave and capable. He has had epilepsy since he was 2, but has been so lucky that it is well-controlled and does not affect his life. He is sly and funny and can do everything his brothers do. I learned this year that he was very interested in doing the right things and doing well in school. He didn't even want to be sick on Fridays, because it was test day.

The title of this blog comes from the period when they were probably 1, 3, and 5 and were obsessed with talking about death. Each one seems to have gotten stuck on the topic for about a year around age 4 and so we talked about death and dying for a good 3 or 4 years. They were discussing the topic of heaven and dying.

Jake said, "It will be okay if you die, Luke because you will be in a better place. "

Luke agreed, "Yeah, if you die, Jake, it will be okay because Heaven is Better than Florida."

Around this same time, my grandmother was in a facility for Alzheimer's and dementia patients. My mother had the residents out every year to her house for lunch. The boys had become friends with a man named Mr. Aldo. He was one of the few men in my grandmother's cottage, and he loved singing old Italian songs to the boys. We visited at least a couple of times each week, and we knew all of the residents well. We realized a one point that Mr. Aldo had cancer that wasn't being treated due to his age. His health quickly declined. His pain became apparent. That Halloween, I took the boys to visit dressed in their Halloween costumes. Mr. Aldo was bed-ridden and his breathing was labored. I knew that would be the boys last visit to see him. They were young and I didn't want them to be afraid.

When it came time for the lunch at my mother's house, Mr. Also had died. I hadn't told the boys, because there were a lot of people there and it was fairly chaotic. I hoped they wouldn't notice his absence. As they residents were loading back up on the bus, Jake asked where Mr. Aldo was.

My heart sank. I sat down and told him that Mr. Aldo had died. He had gone to heaven to live with God and he was not in pain anymore, he would always be happy, and young and healthy. I waited for Jake's reaction. He sat for a minute, and he said, "Yea for Mr. Aldo." If only we could all feel that way.

By the way, a few weeks later the dog died. I tried the same speech I gave about Mr. Aldo. It did not work at all...oh well...

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