Friday, July 30, 2010

My Andy

Tomorrow Anthony turns 21. It's been a hell of a road to get him there. Andy was born when I was 11 years old. I had waited my entire life for a brother, and time pretty much stood still the moment he was born. There is not very much I would not have done for him. I don't know that we ever have been mad at each other for more than a few hours either. When he was little, he was my everything. He came in my room every day after school and tore it apart. He removed all my books from my book case and would stack them in piles around the room. I did not care though. Each night I would put them back. I bought him his first rattle and stayed up the first night he came from the hospital to watch him breath.

When I was 15, my first love broke up with me. Andy was in the room when I got off the phone and saw me crying. He asked me if the guy had boke my heart. I said yes, and he he said, "sitty, I'll never break your heart". I think he meant it too. Andy worries a lot about what I think. Therefore, he doesn't always tell me stuff. We are very different too. Though I have pretty much raised him since he was 7, he is his own person. First off, he is a democrat. I still have hope he will see the light of day once he has to pay real taxes lol.

When I was a girl, I promised my mother that if anything ever happened to her, that I would take care of Andy. It has been my pleasure for the better part of 21 years to keep that promise. Andy was the first person I ever knew for sure loved me. He is strong, but he doesn't know it. I could have spent my entire life spoiling him, but I knew he would never stand on his own feet, if I did not make him. After all, if you go through life believing you are perfect, how can you aspire to be any better? It's been one of the hardest things in my life keeping that secret from Andy, that in my eyes, he never could do wrong. The entire time I was pregnant with my children I prayed for a daughter because I truly believed I could never love a little boy the way I loved Andy. Of course O came and changed all that, and my heart grew.

I am who I am because of my brother. My husband married me knowing that we were a package deal. If he loved me, he loved Andy. I have never for one second ever regretted taking care of him. He has been one of the most wonderful parts of my life, an answered prayer. It was not a sacrifice or a labor of love. I was simply a sister who loved her brother. I prayed to God for him, and when God answers my prayers, I never take them for granted. As long as I have breath in my body, I will take care of him. I imagine in the years to come, I will have a wedding to help take care of and a ring to buy for his wife, one more thing I will take care of for our mother. A daughter keeps her promises after all.

Tomorrow I could say I was done. I did raise Andy and make sure he was taken care of till he was grown and most people would agree 21 is the age of maturity. However, Andy is just beginning his life. He is soon to become a man, although he already believes he is one. Though he walks with his head held high and thinks he has the world figured out, in my eyes he will always be a little boy, my Andy. I'll always be watching and waiting to catch him if he stumbles for the rest of my life, just like I did when he was little and I taught him to walk.

I have to go now. My Andy just walked in upstairs. I know that because I hear the squeals of my children. He has that affect on people.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

It was the perfect day for a swimming party. The kids had a blast and O was super excited about their party.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

For her

Dear Kristiina,

Today our son turned 6 years old. I promised not to think of you until the sun went down. I wanted no sadness to mar his perfect day. As the sun began to set, my thoughts drifted to you, and I hoped that wherever you were that you were happy. I wished there was some way for you to know how wonderful today was for little Oskar. He laughed, he jumped, we sang to him, and it was everything he wanted his birthday to be. Maybe one day you will seek out info on perfect O, and maybe you'll find this letter floating through space and time and know that he is happy. Each day I give him everything I have, and I hug him twice as hard, so maybe it will be enough for both of us. Please know that for every tear you might have spilled, I probably cried along side of you. BUT I laugh harder too, I fight stronger, and I break all the rules. I do everything it takes to make sure that Oskar has what he needs, some of what he wants, and is always loved. Kristiina, he is so happy and taken care of. He goes on holidays, he swims underwater so well, and he runs and plays all the time. He is full of energy, and he is healthy and strong. His eyes are the most beautiful blue I have ever seen, and he is full of love. He has this huge imagination. He can take a piece of string and make a toy out of it. He believes that dinosaurs are real, gets excited every time he sees a star, and thinks that when the crickets chirp they are playing music. Oskar is full of life, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving him his start. Please know you are always in my thoughts, and I wish only the best for you.


Friday, July 9, 2010

The story of Devon, my story

Devon's story is not really mine to tell. However, he kept me awake last night, so you have to meet him. You have to see a little of what I saw, and you have to know him.

Devon is my friend Jane's son. He is the little boy in the picture with A.J. Devon has autism, down syndrome, and was born with the effects of fas and drug exposure. Before Jane found him, Devon was underestimated. As I said, most of his story is not mine to tell and if Jane doesn't want this out there, I will take it off, but I'll tell what I know.

Before Devon came to Jane a few years ago, he did not live life. He did not eat, play, laugh, and thrive. Jane did not take no for an answer and I imagine she did what she does, LIVE. She showed Devon a whole new world. The sky was the limit and Devon grew, changed, and learned.

We went to six flags for the 4th this year with Jane's family. In all we had 12 kids!!! Special needs is MY thing, so I was really looking forward to out meet up. Jane has 5 adopted kiddos with down syn and 3 bios. All of them were lovely and each as different as night and day. BUT Devon.....well, he just kind of took my heart, and A.J.'s too as you can see.

Jane is very different, and I like that about her. I don't imagine the kids hear about limitations often. Though it must be incredibly hard, she takes those kids EVERYWHERE. They do everything like boy and girl scouts, camping, vacations, eating out, everything. So when we got to the water park, I wanted Devon :) Some know that autism is my thing too, and finding that little peek inside is my specialty. I wanted to play with Devon, but I wasn't sure Jane would let me have him lol. After all, Devon did not know me and Jane and I had just met in person. Like I said though, Jane is different and such a wonderful mom. Devon went with me to the wave pool, and I tossed him into an inner tube and he LOVED it. He laughed and smiled, and when the big waves came he wasn't afraid at all. We must have spent 30 minutes in there and the more the better. Later I asked if I could take him on the water slide. She thought for a second and said okay if some one would catch him at the end. I'll admit I was scared. What if he got scared? He ended up loving it, even though he stopped half way down. Me and the life guard watched him for a few seconds and then he went the rest of the way down. They caught him at the end. He was like every other kid out there, having fun, being free.

Later that day we went to ride the roller coaster. I asked Devon if he was sure and he signed yes and yelled ya ya ya over and over. I'll admit, those coasters scare me and I screamed and screamed. Then I felt something on my back. It was Devon's hand, he was patting my back every time I yelled.

Devon is Devon, full of joy and happiness. He is loved, wanted, and just like every other child. Jane doesn't put limits on him, and to be honest, I don't think he knows he has any. That is what I loved so much about him. I loved being with him and felt very honored that I got to meet him.

Next time I get scared, I think I'll remember Devon patting my back and yelling ya ya ya.