An unexpected gift

It’s been an amazing couple of days.  My father asked me to take my brother for a few days.  He’s 18, recently graduated and doesn’t know what he wants to do with his life quite yet.  I wanted to introduce him to some people, help him see a few different lives.  It’s only been a couple of days though.  I wish I had more time, but he has a job and a life too.  So he’s getting mini-glimpses into other people’s worlds.  I was happy to give it a try and even happier at the idea of getting to spend a ton of time with him.  It was an unplanned, unexpected gift.

I took him to work with me.  I took him to T’s house to do yard work and go have lunch.  He spent a day with Alayna and Grayson at home and he even went with me to get a Tat.

And here’s the thing.  It has been eye opening in so many ways.  My god is “the boy” like my father.  Some of the phrases he uses or the way he says something; it’ll be as if Dad was standing right there saying it.  Sometimes it would make me just laugh and laugh.

He likes music.  We have extremely similar tastes.  He sings!  We caught each other singing and just started belting it together.  The house resembled a musical …. briefly.  🙂  Then we laughed and laughed and started comparing each other’s playlists.  He’s going to get a matching tat to the one I just got.  same place, same tat.  It’s music symbols (bass and treble clef) combined together to form a heart.  I’ve wanted to get music somehow incorporated into a tattoo and he found this and I fell in love with it.  I knew instantly I wanted to put it on my wrist/forearm area.  My first “always visible” tattoo.  I kept getting sneak peaks of it today while I was working and I’d smile and think of both my love of music and my brother.


It’s still weird sometimes, to know that I have a brother.  Me!  🙂  I grew up an only child.  Learned about him when I was 24.  He’s a really cool kid.  He’s a little PUNK too but he’s pretty dang cool.  He’s messy.  He could easily eat me out of house and home.  He constantly rags on me.  And I love it.  🙂  I flip his shit talking right back.  Dad didn’t push education on him.  That concerns me a bit.  He doesn’t have a love for reading, or knowledge.  He’s a good salesman; a smooth talker.  It’s crazy, at one point last night, I’d have sworn I’d met my match at stubborn persistence and negotiations.  He’s young.  Makes silly stupid choices at times, but he’s got a great heart.  He’s funny and loves to laugh.  You can’t help liking him.  I worry about him.  He asks questions.  He has a curiosity.  If I were Dad, I’d look at cultivating that.  I’ve encouraged him to try new things, meet new people.  Look at attending a class at a local college.  Don’t pick something like math, pick something a bit more fun that will get him thinking about what he actually wants to be when he grows up.  🙂

I had a rough drive home today.  Was in a “conversation” with the ex.  We were talking about the kids, and I was trying to rearrange the current drop off set up we’ve been doing.  Conversations with him are extreme roller coasters.  Everything sets him off.  But what’s weird is that when he’s going off – it’s usually yelling at me for losing my cool.  And 95% of the time, I haven’t lost anything.  I can’t appear to be raising my voice in any way or it sets him off.  Heaven help me when I’m in my car and he’s on speaker.  He’ll go on and on and then get upset when I try and jump in with anything.  And if I do, it’s interrupting and that’ll set him off too, but it’s not consistent.  Sometimes he’ll lose his cool and I’m being screamed at, and sometimes it’s ok, so I never really know how I’m supposed to act.  It’s a constant game of walking on eggshells.  Everything is always flipped around so that I’m at fault..and he’s so good at it, that often, I’ll start to really question whether I could have done something differently.  So I typically go at it from the approach of doing everything I can to ensure he realizes I’m not attacking or nagging or doing anything negative in any way shape or form.  It’s exhausting.  Money was the other topic.  That he comes and takes from my diaper and wipe stash, when really, he needs to have his own supply.  I reminded him of his phone cutoff date (Aug 1).  I told him he needs to plan out when he’s going to start paying off his debts to me.  That at this point, I don’t care if it’s $5 a month for a couple of months if that’s what he has to do, but that I need to see responsible consistent effort on his part.  I said that if he wants to be considered a “good father” (he’s always been focused on wanting to be considered a good dad – note the word “considered”.  Who cares what other people think.. you either are or you aren’t.  And that’s really between you and that child) that he should be making that same consistent effort with our daughter just as much.

I know she doesn’t lack in good male role models in her life, but there’s something to be said about the man you call Dad.  And she doesn’t really have that with the ex.  She does in some ways.  She loves him.  But there isn’t that super close bond that there should be for a girl and her dad.

On my way home, during this lovely rollercoaster of a conversation I was having, I received a text from the roommate asking what was for dinner.  I HATE getting that text.  You’re home all day.  You tell me?!  Besides that, you told me last night you were going to cook tonight.  So what you’re really saying is that you didn’t cook, have no ideas and are hoping that I’ll order out for everyone.  I just pulled into the driveway when out he came asking what the plans were and offering to go pick up Mongolian grill for everyone.  He got grumpy on me.  I told him I’d figure something out, so he went out with his girlfriend and had dinner.  Between work (it’s been amazing lately, but VERY high levels of stress with deadlines and meetings and just me), and the ex, and the roommate… I walked in the door and could barely hold back the tears.  Sometimes, both the ex and the roommate make me feel very used or worse, worthless. It’s gotten old.  I’d taken my medication (getting a root canal on Thursday – mouth pain SUCKS), taken a shower, put on my sweats and was lounging when I heard a knock at the door.  It was T.  I’d told him about my long day and he just showed up.  Didn’t stay long, but my stress was lifted and my mood back on the good side of the fence.  I asked him how he knew I needed that.  I think it’s magic. Any stress I feel just dissipates when I’m around him.  I feel so blessed to have him in my life. I’m always a little sad to see him leave.  Is it wrong that I want more? I feel like there’s really something amazing there.

I had an amazing breakthrough at work yesterday. I had to pitch to the leadership team what it was that I recommended they “do” about a heavy problem.  My solution included me building the team I want to build; with me as the director above.  To be honest, it was a bit lofty.  I pitched “the dream” and then I also gave a second recommendation of what I felt was realistic for right now.  It included a pitch at how my team would engage with the rest of the teams, what the process would work like, the work we’d take on and how to fund it.  They granted me my wish.  I’m so excited.  For one, I’m hiring old colleague friends who I enjoyed working with in the past.  There’s something to be said for that.  We all love to laugh.  We enjoy music and have a real passion for what we do.  We make a great team.

Tomorrow, I get to teach a 90 minute workshop to a bigger panel of the leadership team.  My topic is how to do great UX design.  I’ve even got design exercises for them to do.  I’m nervous.  I hope that I have enough to talk about.

Oy, I’m getting sleepy.  Thanks for being here tonight, never land, I feel like I really needed to just spill my thoughts tonight; and as always, you were here.  Goodnight.


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