race and family
in a small northern town.
Friday, May 21, 2010
He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother
Tanner and Caden have lived a life without much loss. Their hearts open wide easily and without reservation to everyone. Tanner wishes for a family with twelve brothers and sisters, Caden approaches social workers on his own and asks them to place more children with us. "A brother next" he says, "just don't tell mom, she will say no". Their joy and enthusiasm at the girls arrival knew no bounds and I was confident that they would love the babies with all their hearts. And they did. Easily, quickly and still.
Greg remembered the loss of before. He remembered his mom crying on the couch, and the dark cloud that
descended over our family. In only the way a 15 year old can see the world, he has no tolerance for those that put their children's needs behind their addiction. He was scared. Scared of the unknown, scared of being hurt. Scared to love. It took him three, maybe four, days to risk his heart but when he did the rewards were enormous. Jayde, our tiny attachment destroyed baby clung to him.
Her big brother that looked different than anyone else in her world that had ever failed her. He was safe and gentle and loving. And she cracked her heart open for him. This big brother that would pick her up when he got home from school and kiss her good morning when everyone else merited a teenage grunt. Oh how she loved him first and she loved him fiercely. And today, as her heart has grown to love everyone in her family, her Greggie calling to her with a "How's My Pebbles?" sends her scampering for a hug.
Eric protested, as he does every change, that he was unwilling to cope or compromise and he certainly would never love another child. Ever. Or you know, until dinner.
In Taya Eric has found a soul sister and in Eric, Taya found her best friend and most committed playmate. She is a mirror reflection of his intense, curious, strong willed and dynamic self. They could not be more alike and in parenting this precious Taya I catch a glimpse of the baby that was Eric. The baby I never knew.
Without a doubt, Eric adores both girls, but in Taya - in her struggles for control and attempts at understanding, and dismantling, her world with its limits and boundaries, and our struggles to parent another dynamo on two legs without pulling our hair out- he sees his protege. And they are inseparable. My two who feel like twenty, love.