Friday, February 2, 2007

One Huge Happy Family

My mom stopped by the other night to check on me because no one had seen or heard from me since my little sister dropped her bomb almost two weeks ago. She was afraid I was hurt and upset and couldn't face the family right now; that I was administering a very common tactic of mine when I'm upset by just avoiding everyone in an effort to ignore what is really going on. I assured her that that wasn't the case. I hadn't visited due to the cold temperatures outside and the warm fires inside, and I hadn't called, because, well, I don't call. I hate the phone. I hate talking on the phone and will avoid it at all costs. I wasn't making excuses to my mother. I told her the truth. And she seemed okay with my answers, so it was my turn to get the scoop on what has gone down in my absence, which apparently isn't very much. My father now knows about my sister's pregnancy, but it was not the doing of my sister, because she was too afraid to tell him. My mom told me that she had to deliver the news personally before he found out by some random passerby as all of my sister's friends were calling with questions and it was only a matter of time before my not-so-stupid father figured it out and was either hurt or furious that his own family couldn't tell him. My mom said their conversation went as so:

Mom: "You know she's pregnant with [boyfriend's name here]'s baby."

Dad: "That doesn't surprise me."


I got a chuckle out of this. This reaction is a testament to how much my father has chilled out in his old age. I can remember a time when it wouldn't have been so pleasant, when he would have shot out of his comfy blue recliner, marched right up to my sister, and in an effort to shake some sense into her he would have grabbed her by the shoulders and asked repeatedly, "How could you do this? How could you be so stupid? Didn't we raise you to be better than this?" He would have continued grumbling such sayings for many days until he finally realized that what is done is done, but he didn't have to like it. He would remind everyone that it was his house, the house he paid for, and we had better damn well show some respect to "your mother and I," and begin following his rules. For many months, every so often, you would be able to look over at him and see the steam billowing out of his ears, and hear his anger in such simple phrases as "Get me a cup of a coffee." But to hear that he took the news so casually brought a smile to my face. That was the man that I had come to love, and it was someone I didn't even know existed before my husband forced me to see it. In any case, my mom says he hasn't tried to talk more about the pregnancy. The whole situation does make me wonder, though, about how it would feel to be told that your "baby" was having a baby. I suppose in some situations it would be wonderful, but in this case, not so much.

I've also been thinking a lot about her ability to raise this child. I know it will be hard, incredibly so, but I also know that she can, and will, do it because she has to. It's just unfortunate because I know everyone has a dream for their child to have it either as good, or better, than they did, and she's going to have a hard time doing that from her current situation. My parents are good people. They have very strong values that they tried to instill in all 6 of us kids. They've been married for nearly 40 years. They gave us encouragement, understanding, and love in an effort to make up for the money and other material things that they couldn't give us. So as long as my sister has come to realize this, as I have, she will be okay. The important thing to remember is that I, and my brothers and sisters, and their husband and wives, are all being blessed with our 15th niece or nephew, and my parents with their 15th granddaughter or grandson. Yes, we're quite a site when you get us all together. And we most definitely love babies.

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