Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Importance of Modern Family

My older sister moved to a different city when I was still in high school, so it was hard for us to remain as close as we had been. Since that time we each found our own paths and started our own families. It is the same old tale with most families. We never saw each other like we wanted, but life just traveled on.
When I got pregnant with my first child, she delivered the most honest advice I could have expected. In most cases, you can only really rely on your older sister to be perfectly blunt about the ugly parts of the most beautiful things in life. She came back to town in the summer. Warm weather always reminds me of her visits. We would sit on the back deck and lazily drink Coors Light as our children swarmed around us at seemingly light speed. Her girls were a breath of fresh air in a sea of boys. I ended up having a girl to add to the number, so that was good.  A little over a year ago, I got an email from her that I will never forget. The subject was: Modern Family. The TV show, Modern Family had just premiered and she couldn't be more ecstatic about it. It was funny how it was and how much it reminded her of her own life.
I made a point to TiVo the premiere episode and I loved it. It's rare that I will like a show right from the start. Most shows take time to grow on me. Modern Family had me hooked, and my sister and I shared that link across many miles.
She sent me an email about the last episode before the Winter hiatus that was brief and served mostly to make sure that I'd seen it, and was up to date. This was in either late November, or early December of 2009.
It was so run-of-the-mill.
I wish it was more poignant.
 I wish it had said more... I didn't even respond to it.
It would be the last time I had any contact with her.
My sister was killed on the way home from a Christmas party, one week before Christmas.
She was driving home on a stretch of road that she had driven hundreds of times. She hesitated on a sharp turn and went over into a steep ditch.
I still have the emails she sent me singing the praises of Modern Family, and laughing about it with her family. After she died, I made a pact with myself that I would never miss one episode. Everytime I watch one, I think of my beautiful sister.
Everytime Modern Family wins an award, I think of my sister and how she would have congratulated herself for being able to pick a winner.
It's funny how mundane things can become so important in hindsight.
So, I say congratulations to everyone involved with the show and thank them for helping me have one last connection with my sister.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

From Kid to Kids

I know it has been a while since I have last shown my face around these parts, but the last few months of my pregnancy were just as dramatic as I knew they would be. I am a grade A drama queen, so I will spare you the minutiae. Anyway... All is well now that my beautiful little boy is out of my body and thriving in his swing.
My second, and thankfully last, pregnancy contained many horrific side affects that I didn't have to deal with the first time around. My OB, an angel on earth, had to listen to my every ache and pain and, to tell you the truth, I had some weird shit going on.
The most unexpected and confusing part of having a second baby, is how the first child will react. My daughter is two and I had somewhat of an idea as to how she would respond to my son, but I was still at a loss as to how to respond to her.
First, I will give you a little back story about my daughter. She is an amazing little entertainer. She is a gorgeous green-eyed blonde with a constant smile and a knack for completely pulling the wool over our eyes. She dances, she sings... She makes jokes that are actually funny on a, somewhat, advanced level. The problem is not that she has any animosity toward her new brother, it's that, not unlike the Incredible Hulk or Lennie from Of Mice and Men , she doesn't realize her own strength.  She wants so badly to be able to take care of her brother, but she just ends up hovering over him and slobbering all over his face.
The most important thing, to me, is to make sure that she realizes that things are going to be different. I also want her to know that she is an intergral part of our family. It is so strange. She is just a little girl, and her brother is just a little baby, but they are what makes the world go 'round!
She has grown up so much in the last month. I am astounded everyday. She brings pampies to help diaper her brother, and she soothes him by saying, "Don't fry baby!" She still hasn't mastered the world "cry".
I have noticed that she tries a little harder to get our attention and is a little louder than she use to be, but if that is the worst of it, I think she's doing pretty damn well.