Monday, August 24, 2009

A note from the boys to Momma...

Here is a video message to Momma from her boys just before K tried to decapitate C. Boys.

Cheers, S.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

And the baby is 3

A week ago, I celebrated my little sister's birthday. And Saturday, Kieran celebrated his little brother's.

When Connery was born, 3 years ago, he looked EXACTLY like Kieran. EXACTLY. It was a bit eerie, to tell the truth. We had one little boy, 19 months old, and then gave birth to his identical twin. Except for one thing. He had a little 'stork bite' under his nose. [Sandy called it a snake bite. Said it sounds tougher.] In some pictures, that red mark is the only thing that clues me in to which baby I'm looking at.

In fact, when I quizzed family and friends with some photos of the boys, NO ONE got 100% right. And the other day? When we were out shopping? A young woman stopped us and apologized for staring at the boys. "They look JUST alike," she said. We laughed, told her we think the same thing, and a few minutes later, I heard her call to her mother, "Look at these boys. I can't get over how alike they look." People constantly ask if they're twins, until they see the height difference.

I remember rubbing my pregnant belly while holding Kieran in my arms. And I worried. I adored this little boy. He was my heart. And, yes, I asked THAT question. "How will I ever love another child as much as this one?" I think every parent asks that question. And everyone told me, "You will. Don't worry, you will."

But I never spoke the question that really worried me. "Will having a second child TAKE away from the love and attention that my first child deserves?" My first child? That little boy that I adored? That was my heart? He would have to share me now. I couldn't give him ALL my attention anymore. I felt guilty about that.

And then the second child was born. And the two brothers met. And face to face, they looked like a mirror slightly out of time--one side a 19 month old toddler and its reflection, a newborn eager to catch up. And all those fears disappeared. Because I realized that I wasn't taking anything away from Kieran--I was GIVING him everything. This little baby was the best gift to any of us.
And, of course, Connery will tell you the same thing. A few nights ago, I asked Kieran, "Who's your best friend?" Before he could answer, Connery excitedly said "His best friend's right here!" ...and pointed to himself. I know that Kieran won't always agree with that, especially when they're teenagers, or--who am I kidding?--even tomorrow morning. But he didn't argue that night. And whenever he gets a toy, or piece of candy, his first question is ALWAYS whether he can get one for his brother, too.

The Big Brother's Tribute to the Little Brother:

... I like to play with him because it's fun. When he's hurt and when he's sick, I be nice. And when he's not hurt and he's not sick, I play with him. I love him all the time I do that, but I don't like it when he's sick and he's hurt.

[What do you like best about your brother?] He knows how to do a flip.

I don't like when he spits at me and hits me and bites, but I like when he plays with me and he lets me be the doggie and he lets me be Sharkboy.

Connery, thanks for letting your brother be Sharkboy. I have to remind you a lot that you're only 3, and I know that you think you're much older. And I know that you also can't read this...but one day you will. One day much too soon. And I hope that when you do, you catch even a glimmer of the love that I--WE--have for you. Love's not even the word. It's too small.

Our C-dude, Baby Dude, Dodderdy, Gubbuh, Kie-onnery... Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful Boy.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Multiply Life By the Power of Two

I won't lie. I didn't always like my sister. She. Got. On. My. Nerves.

A lot.

There is a 5 year difference in our ages, and I think that contributed a lot to the fact that my sister was annoying. Er, I mean--that I didn't appreciate her. Come on, when I was 13, becoming a teenager and teasing my hair up in honor of Motley Crue and Poison? Kelly was 8. And what was she listening to? I don't even know. I didn't have time for that.

So I was pretty mean to her. I tricked her into eating grape Kool-aid powder. Not the Kool-Aid already made up. The POWDER. It will kill tastebuds and brain cells. Try it someday. Then imagine someone holding you against the kitchen counter pouring it down your throat.

Our babysitter (!!) helped me paint my face to look like I was possessed by spirits. She ran to get my sister who was playing outside. "Something's wrong with Amy!!" I was sitting in a closet rocking back and forth, a thin sheet over my head like a shawl. My sister FREAKED!! Crying, not because she was afraid OF me, but afraid FOR me. [Yeah, I felt really guilty about that one.]

And maybe the thing I feel MOST guilty about? I called her stupid. A lot. A few years ago, when we found a journal she kept in elementary school, we saw where she wrote that when I yelled at her, it made her 'nervose.'

WHY? WHY did I do that?? I've spent many nights asking myself that question. Sometimes I think it's because I was jealous. Or maybe resentful? Just plain selfish? I don't know.

Only now do I realize how cute and precious she always was. How smart she was. And very loving.

When we were around 4 and 9, we shared a bed, and E
VERY night, she would sweetly ask, "Amy, will you put your arm on me?" Sweetly, lovingly. And every night, I said NO. I rolled my eyes and sighed with disgust. I know that sometimes I gave in, because I can recall flopping my arm over and waiting for her to drift off to sleep so I could get my arm back. Other nights, she tried to compromise and said my leg would be okay. I remember going to sleep some nights with just my toe on her calf.

So now, I consider it a mission to make up for all that time I terrorized her, kept her as far from me as possible. And I don't always know how to do that. I wasted many years when I could have been learning to be a good big sister. There are some walls between us. Some scars.

Today is my sister's birthday. She's the big 3-0. And I hope that somewhere in her celebration, she knows that for every one time that I made her feel unloved, I have regretted it at least twice.

I hope that sometimes, when she looks back on growing up with me, she remembers that I let her lay across the back of the big chair, stood behind her and strummed her belly like a guitar. That I traded rooms so she could have the big room. That our cousin Diane and I feathered her hair and took pictures because she looked so pretty. That I cried when we couldn't find her in the neighborhood once. That we were together with Grandpa when he died. That she was my maid of honor. That she is my boys' ONLY masi. That she is my favorite sister ;) That when I hear my own voice on the answering machine, I think it's her.

And that, as different as we may be, there is NO other person on this earth who has so similar a genetic makeup, family tree or common experience.

I wish I could snuggle in bed with her now. I would put my arm over her and sing this song.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009