Yesterday I learned a lot. A lot I did not expect to learn. I have always taken my younger brother for a bit of a screw up. And, I know a lot of it has been his circumstances, and what my mother has allowed... but, I have learned a lot. Learned that he has tried a lot harder than I thought...
Yesterday, the boy who I considered so great at some points in my childhood, and such a brat at others, showed me he has really tried to become a man. He is 20 years old. And that just freaks me out all on it's own... but yesterday I gained so much respect for him.
He came upstairs for a bit - something I have really wanted to avoid... you know, I am trying to get the "living under the same roof but not living together" thing ingrained nice and early from the beginning, so I don't have some in-my-hair-constantly thing going on in a few weeks... BUT, that said... he came up and talked for a bit. And he was telling me about some speeding tickets he has gotten that he has to pay on and everything, and he remembered he has pictures from a trip he took to Vegas with his friends that he wanted to show me. (Yeah, my little brother isn't so little anymore if he went to Vegas alone with his friends.) And he went down to get his pictures, when he came back, he had this black folder in his hand... and in it, he went on to explain, was, basically... his life. Now... this startlingly organized folder... was a hell of a lot more together than even *I* am with stuff like that. And seeing as he has had less of a chance to "get it right" than I have... I was really impressed. (My mother is notoriously unorganized, downstairs his entire "side" of the apartment is spotless... hers, well... isn't.) In it, he had his speeding ticket records, his birth certificate, anything important he had ever received, and his Vegas pictures. Which were really neat to look at. And then, on the other side of this folder... was every picture I had ever sent him of my sweet babies - kept nice and neat, and safe. Safe from my mothers ability to "lose" important things... safe from everything... and in his cherished folder of his "life."
Then he pulled out his wallet. Full of pictures of my family. Worn at the edges... pictures of my daughter as an infant, then it progressed to her as a toddler... then pictures of me pregnant with my little guy and my daughter in my lap, then pictures of both of them.
And I realized, he really does care. Much more than he will ever let on. (He always has an "I don't give a shit about anything" attitude.) I was just so touched. Touched that he has taken the care to cherish those pictures like that. And impressed that the little boy I used to fight so viciously with... has at least tried to keep his life in some semblance of order.
I really hope this can work out - and so far... I think we are doing good. I might strangle the dog within the week... he keeps barking anytime they come up the stairs... but I hope he will get used to it soon.
We still have not fully accepted our great news from the other day. It is just like a dream. We keep realizing the various things we will be able to do... for instance, I had basically accepted the imminent demise of our pool... it is partially above ground, and the tenants ripped the liner very badly - and it is expensive to replace. I *knew* we would not get it done this year, and it would have to survive another winter as is... and I knew the chances of that were slim. BUT, now with his pay increase, we have been able to work out a payment plan with a pool guy! So.. by the beginning of August, we should have our pool back! Which means we will be able to go out on our deck again and everything. I am so excited about it I can barely contain myself.
We have needed this for so long. I am so proud of my husband... and I just want to hold onto the good that finally seems to be working it's way back into our lives.