Tuesday, October 7, 2008
My Favorite Pair of Genes
I love my brother, Zach. When God made Zach, I'm pretty sure he took a good, long look at everything about me, then took all the opposites to create my brother. We have nothing in common besides a set of parents, an intense love of coffee, and a similar sense of humor. He's awesome. And then to add to his awesomeness, he's been married for five and a half years to Shawna, with whom I have probably even less in common with than I do Zach, but who is hands down one of my favorite people on the planet. Together, they are quite a pair.
Here are a few reasons why:
A couple of weeks ago I went to the mailbox to bring in the mail. Among the usual assortment of bills and junk (mostly junk--dude, whatever happened to saving trees? I DO NOT NEED a sunroom added to my house or a coupon for bathfitters. LEAVE ME ALONE, junk mailers of the world!) I had a postcard. On one side, there was a picture of a rooster. Beneath the rooster, was the Japanese character (do they call them "characters" in Japanese, or is that Chinese?) for rooster. Beneath that, was the English translation, "cock." When I flipped it over to the address side, all it said was "hee hee." It was from Shawna.
Last time I was in Cleveland, I was very sad. It was my first visit home in a year, the first time seeing my Dad since his cancer diagnosis, and I wasn't prepared for it all. I missed Blaker. I'm kind of a homebody anyway, and a neat freak, so having our stuff scattered ALL OVER THE FARM and living out of a suitcase for two weeks was tough. One day when I woke up, all I could do was cry. No reason, no explanation. I absolutely couldn't do anything except sit on the porch swing and cry. Zach called to see if I wanted to hang out with him and Shawna and Mom told him I couldn't seem to do much but sit and cry. So what did they do? They showed up ten minutes later with a Red Bull and vodka already mixed, which Shawna shoved into my hand and told me to start drinking as she headed into the house to mix a pitcher of margaritas (pre-mixed, but she added an entire BOTTLE of Jose Cuervo for extra ooomph). The best part? It was 10am.
My children LOVE Uncle Zach and Aunt Shawna. One night when Bellamy was at "Camp Yaya," I called the farm at about 11pm to say goodnight to Mom. Zach and Shawna had just stopped by and gotten Bellamy out of bed to take her for a midnight snack to IHOP. (Bellamy ADORES IHOP. The child would live off of pancakes if you let her.) They take the kids out for milkshakes, on trips to the park, down for sleepovers and pizza parties--they are Bellamy and Sutt's idea of the MOST FUN EVER. Oh, and when they party with the kids, I get a break.
Not an important one, but Shawna and I are the same size and she has great taste in clothes and an affinity for Banana Republic. She lets me borrow things a lot :)
Zach has a wicked (and dry) sense of humor, and not one iota of guilt about using it. One of he and Mom's favorite games is to see who can get Shawna the most riled up and offended. They are both extremely good at it, and poor Shawna can't seem to resist falling into their trap because she's so passionate about so many things that they like to bring up, particuarly being respectful of the nationalities of others. It's great fun to watch. Until Shawna gets mad and stops speaking to everybody. Because of his sense of humor, Zach is also the first person I call when I'm sad, because he NEVER fails to cheer me up. He also knows me well enough to know when I need cheering without my having to ask.
There have been many times in my life that I've wished to live closer to my family. Right now, it's harder than it's ever been with Dad being sick. I hate having the kids away from my parents, and not being there to see what's really going on with Dad. But I think the thing I wish for most of all is to be able to spend time with my brother and my "sister" whenever I want. It's hard being away from the people I love most.