July 6, 2006 by Marj Hatzell
Last week I spent hours reading other people’s blogs. I love reading about their adoptions, births, family issues, heartfelt feelings, love life’s, the list goes on. In some ways it makes me feel so NORMAL, in other ways I feel so fortunate just to have what I have, no matter how horrible of a day we had. There are always people who have it worse than we do, and they handle their difficulties with more grace and composure than I could ever muster. Oh, how it humbles me!
I am truly blessed. God picked me to do a very important job and I hope I am fulfilling my duties. In the meantime, I am doing the best I can. But I still need to vent, and this is my forum, my outlet, if you will. So, without further adieu, I bring you, “Things I want (read: need) to say.”
Darling: I love you with all my heart. You are a wonderful husband and father (I’ve told him this part many times). But, you get so caught up in your projects, your garage stuff and your grass-cutting that you tend to ignore the kids a little too much. I know you just finished ten hours of hectic office politics, but I need you to be here when you get home. That is, I need you to take over. They are only awake for about two hours (sometimes less) when you get home. Can’t you watch tv or tinker with your jeep or lawn mower then? I need a break! I know you try, and sometimes you deliver. But I need you to be more accountable and responsible. Oh, and on weekends, let’s keep the garage disappearing act to a few hours, not 8-12, mmkay?
Brother: You are young, vibrant and hold more potential in your pinky than the other six of us ever had. Every time I think you are headed down the right path and have everything going for you, you get caught up in something. You are going to lose your career, the one you have worked so hard to establish. You are doing so well for yourself! We are so proud of you, why do you have get around the wrong people? I know that isn’t you. You are a kind and loving person, you are thoughtful and fun-loving. The kids love you because you are a “fun uncle” and you give them the neatest Christmas presents (which, by the way, you spend WAY too much money on!). Please, please, PLEASE slow down and start thinking about your future. You are a good looking guy, you could do better than you’ve been doing! You would make a fine husband and father if you’d just cut out the teenage antics!
Other brother: You are going to be thirty years old. Shape up, get a life, stop getting canned from every job you have and MOVE OUT OF MOM AND DAD’S HOUSE!!!!! I love you, but you also act like a teenager. And I can’t believe that anyone in their right mind would still want to live with mom and dad! Except that you are enabled at every turn and you take full advantage of it. I love you.
Third brother: You are a great guy, have great connections and work harder than anyone I’ve every met. Who else has held 3-5 jobs his entire working career? No one! However, you are on the fast track for burn out. Sloooooow doooowwwnnnn. You work too hard. Your wife does nothing except take advantage of that fact. She spends your hard-earned money on her frivolous affairs and isn’t responsible. And when I call her princess, I mean it in a mean way. It isn’t a term of endearment. Oh, and by the way, some of us LIKE having kids and the lifestyle that goes along with it. So stop making snide remarks about how it has ruined our lives, because believe it or not, we LIKE this torture!
Dear sister: I love that you know every movie ever made. Every tv show, even. You are a walking movie and TV tome. And witty and smart, genius even. You and I are the only people I know that read books at school dances and parties. However, I am very concerned about your son. Git yer head outta yer rear end and do something about it. I know how you feel about psychologists and doctors (or, aas you affectionately refer to them, “quacks.”) but believe it or not, some of them DO HELP YOU. And will help your son. Please, for his sake, get him to a doctor for an evaluation. He needs help. He is four-years-old and his behaviours are out of control. He has autism. It runs in the family. It sucks, but there is NOTHING you can do about it. So stop running away from it and do something to help your son reach his potential! While it is cute that he repeats everything he hears, memorizes books and movie and TV characters and has a train obsession like his four male cousins, many of his behaviors (ok, almost all) indicate autism. So go do something about it.
(kind sounds like I am picking on my family, huh?)
Dear son: I love you so very much! You have the brightest smile on your face every morning when I have the privilege of being the first to see you open your eyes. You are the sunshine on a cloudy day for me, the beat of my heart. But I am in so much pain to see you this way. I want so much to hear your little three-year-old voice. I want you to look in my eyes and let me know it is all ok. Please, communicate with us! We need you! If you could only tell me how you feel, if your tummy hurts, what you want for dinner or that you’d like to go out and play. Or not. Just tell us! We are trying so hard to reach you and figure out what it is you need! It is such a guessing game. I know you are doing the best you know how, but you have so much potential. You are so smart! I have never seen a child do some of the things you do. Your five-year-old brother doesn’t even do them. But you can! Show us what else you can do! Sing the alphabet with me! Play Head-shoulders-knees-and-toes! I don’t want to pressure you but so many people have already given up on you and have written you off. I know you are still in there. Show us!
Tabloid and news media: Leave them alone. I know you think that because they have a public lifestyle that it means you can follow them around and exploit them, but that doesn’t mean you can do crazy things like box their cars in, take pictures of their kids and stand around their house, or better yet, fly around their houses. I know they could do better to protect themselves and give photo ops so that you’d leave them alone more, but the children! Stop taking pictures of the kids! That really, REALLY bothers me! If you want photograph their cottage-cheese thighs and their nipples hanging out of their bathing suits, that is on you. But please don’t take pictures of their kids. It is so insanely wrong.
Political people: You could be doing a better job. I voted for many of you. But you are sending our country to heck-in-a-handbasket and I am embarrassed! My overseas friends ask me some weird questions that I don’t know how to answer. What the HECK are we doing there? Please don’t let this turn into another Vietnam. And start admitting that this has more to do with Oil and our interest in it (hmmm, the president is an oil tycoon, interesting!) and less to do with establishing democracy in a country that has no hope for it since they have no desire to protect human rights. I am in support of our troops and I believe in our country. I believe that their tyrannical dictator is an evil man who must face justice. I even believe they aided terrorism and may even have WMDs hidden SOMEWHERE. But I don’t think this was the way to go about it. I am no expert (and please don’t flame me in the comments section, I won’t respond!), but I do know that something just doesn’t seem right. I don’t watch the news, and I rarely read it, but I know what I know…And there are people in other countries that need our help more that DON’T have oil and have darker skin and their women and children and suffering atrocities that shouldn’t ever be, why isn’t anyone helping them?
People who sit behind red tape: You make it much to difficult to obtain therapeutic services for our children. They are entitled to a certain amount by law and you just make the process draining so that more parents will give up before their children receive what they need. But not here! We will fight to the bitter end because my child is worth it. He will get what he needs. I am not interested in taking more than he is allowed, I am not one of those parents who are sue-happy and get the district to pay for private school (which is where they would have sent their kids anyway, if they had been typical). But, he deserves a chance to learn to speak and behave like any other three-year-old. Mmmkay?
Ok, I bet you don’t want to read any more of my thoughts. I have more people to “talk” to but won’t today. I feel better already!