I have a cold. I got a medium level cold that hasn't bothered me much, but has killed my voice. And I haven't posted in a while, so my electronic voice is creaky and underused, where my actual voice is croaky and overused. Time to balance out again!
Since my birthday, I've had the pleasure of celebrating my middle son's 7th birthday. He celebrated it in a way I hope he never repeats - school trouble. I have managed the "Government Shutdown Crisis" fairly well, given that none of us work for the government (though many, many friends and some family members do). I've weathered an entry into Scouting and a dinner strike by the youngest. I've prepared us somewhat for Halloween, helped clients find homes (both to rent and to buy), gotten very busy, and lost sleep.
So...the usual. Why the quiet, then?
Well, possibly it's because turning 7 indicates the age of reason? One week after he turned 7, Drew asked me while I dressed Connor one morning before school:
Mom, who will take care of Connor when you and Dad have died?
Despite an alarming lack of caffeine in my system at the time, I managed to not blurt out: that's what you and your brother are for.
Instead, I took a deep breath (during which I silently cursed Lee for having the audacity to get showered before work and leave me alone for conversations like these) and said, "Well, we've made arrangements so that Connor will always be taken care of. And he's lucky because lots of people love him and will want to be sure he is taken care of and will help." Another big breath. Then, "And, Drew, you know that people who are sick can die, right?" He nodded. "Well, it's possible that Dad and I may live longer than Connor does." (Internally, having a HUGE hissyfitmeltdownsnit. Externally, still dressing Connor and maintaining an extraordinary lack of eye contact with my children.)
That's all he said. End of conversation. Hasn't come up again. But when Lee came downstairs, I told him he wasn't allowed to leave the room ever for something as stupid as a shower.
When we found out that Tucker was a boy baby, the first thing I said to Lee was, "Ha, ha! I never have to have The Talk." He hung his head. I would gladly trade The Talk for this. Sex? Easy? I would be HAPPY to discuss your private parts in great, gory detail. Your brother dying? Ugh, um, ask your father.
Connor will be 10 in a few short months. I find it hard to believe that we have been doing this for 10 years. A decade. And he has missed so much. It makes me so angry on his behalf that he can't experience life or express himself in the way that we are designed to. It makes me so grateful that we are able to care for him, and make sure his needs are met, and have families (extended and non-related) who just love him with every fiber of their beings and support us through our good times and our less-than-good times. Neighbors (who are friends, of course) who take the other boys on without a second thought when we need a little time to get something done.
I am tired, have no voice, and am a weird yin-yang of gratitude and angst. Gotta get them balanced again so I can get this voice back!