You know, the war? The one that apparently isn't happening, yet somehow everybody is against it? Yeah, that one...
So, my son called from Iraq last night. It looks like they've extended him, for a while, so there is a chance that when his brother gets there, they may get to see each other. The older turd never calls me, so I don't know if he's a Gunny yet, or will be by the time he gets there. If so, he'll have god-like powers, and be able to whistle up a helicopter to go where he wants.
Or so he says. In a helicopter in the skies of Iraq is not some place I think that I would care to be. Or for any of my spawn to be, for that matter.
I don't think I've told him this, but I love it when our call gets interrupted by his fellow Marines, and I get to hear the interplay. Last night I heard the phone drop and a chair scrape and my son call out "Morning Sergeant Major!" and when he came back on the phone I started breaking his balls, telling him to call the SM a fag for me "Say, 'my dad says you're a fag, Sergeant Major!'..." but he wouldn't go for it.
Then I told him to tell the SM that he works for me, cuz I pay taxes, and my son gently reminded me of the fact that I am too poor to pay taxes, and well, dammit, he's right. But he could've faked it. Ingrate...
I'm not sure if my older kids have accepted the fact that I respect them for the adults they are. Yes, I can still look back down the timeline and see the baby, but unlike my own parents, I know that I'm not dealing with a little kid anymore, but with an adult, making adult decisions.
I fully understand the desire to enjoy your child's childhood for as long as you can, and it is a tragedy of sorts, a loss, when it slips away, and they step out of the chrysalis, tall and strong, and fly away...
And it is okay to mourn that passage. It is not okay to try to stuff them back in. As bad as it is (and it's bad, my ex did it) to parentize a child, I think it is worse to infantilize and adult.
If a juvenile bird won't leave the nest, the parent throws them out, or simply leaves, themselves. I think there's a lesson to be learned, there.
If one of your adults wants (or needs) to come back, and they bring their own resources, and provide for their own needs, and contribute, that's fine. It's called many things, but I prefer the word 'clan'.
The opposite of that is called an 'adult day care center', and is an abomination.
I'll take in any loved one who has fallen on hard times, feed them, clothe them...for a few days. And with the up front understanding that they accept these terms, and will show positive forward motion.
The opposite is true for your elders, I think, and not just because I am perilously close to becoming one. They, you take in, if you must, and nurture them in their dotage as they nurtured you in your infancy. It is a moral contract, I think, a moral imperative, that we violate all too often as a society, I fear.
Yes, it is a hard thing to do. When something is hard to do, it is usually an indicator that it is also the right thing to do.
And I would further submit to you that it is the right thing to do to take on the burden of nurturing the families of relatives of yours who have died, or who have become incapacitated.
If I had the money, not one of my family members would be living in the conditions the wife and I find ourselves in.
Fate is a bitch, and good fortune is a blessing. My little family have been fortunate enough to be blessed by others who can. I do not have one single complaint. Believe it or not.
And the prospects are good that our fortunes are changing for the better. Or we'll all die. I could care less. I'm too busy counting all of my blessings, so, if you'll excuse me...