I had kind of a weird experience the other morning.
Well to me it was weird, to others you might just be like, "Yeah, so?"
I woke up at 4:30am to Hunter screaming his little heart out (damn molars, why do you torment my boy so????). I went in and tried to calm him but between his tears and my fatigue I thought Ah, to hell with it and brought him into bed with us. We slept for about another hour then woke up when Daryl's obnoxious alarm went off. The three of us were laying peacefully, wide-awake, in bed and not speaking when all of a sudden from the hallway came this sound.
Now quick interjection. The other day I put Hunter's toy ride-along firetruck in the hallway cuz we have too many dang toys in the living room. I hadn't gotten around to putting it in his bedroom yet. There are a couple of buttons on the firetruck that you press and hear a siren and also a singing tune.
Anyway, cut back to the other morning, in the blissful darkness of our bedroom and all of a sudden we hear what sounds like a broken record, "I-I-I-I-I...." and then immediately the truck's tune cheerfully sounding, "I see a firetruck, a big red shiny firetruck! I see a firetruck coming down the lane. And....there's...a...noisey siren blaring on that truck!" Then a few seconds of silence before I said, in surprise, "What the HELL what was that?"
Now, don't get me wrong, I full well know it was his firetruck, but hello? NO ONE PRESSED THE BUTTON. Tucker was peacefully curled up at the foot of our bed so I knew his tail/nose couldn't' have bumped into it. Big D just kinda shrugged it off and I turned the news on and that was that.
But I couldn't shake it. Later on when we were all getting up and Daryl and Hunter went out to the living room, I walked by the firetruck to inspect it to make sure nothing was leaning against it, like a laundry basket for example, which could have been pressing on the button. NOTHING surrounding that truck! When I went back out into the living room, I casually said, "Don't you think that's weird about that firetruck this morning?"
"Maybe it's your Dad." Daryl replied simply.
"Yeah? You think?"
"Maybe he wanted you to know he is happy that you and your brother made up."
Wow. Interesting thought. My brother and I haven't spoken in almost a year. We've never had a close relationship but we've never gone that long without speaking either. But after a huge fight, it was inevitable.
Sean's only seen my son, his nephew, twice. The first time at a couple of days old when he showed up on my doorstep, the day we arrived home from the hospital. He breezed into my house to use the bathroom (he's a truck driver who happened to be in town) and I heard Daryl ask him, "Do you want to hold your nephew?"
"Nah." Came my brother's nonchalant reply. While not surprising (my brother is not one to show emotion and definitely not one to acknowledge he loves any of his family members), I was still mildly annoyed. This is his first and only nephew after all. And I KNOW it pissed Daryl right off.
So when I came out into the living room, after my brother had used the bathroom, I asked him, "So did you see the baby?" to which he looked down at him, nodded and then said, "See ya later."
The second and last time, he came over AGAIN to use my bathroom. This time Hunter was about 2 months old. I was changing Hunter's diaper on the pack and play and Sean leaned over and said, "Hey, little shit." That was it. Off to the bathroom he went. Afterwards he was hanging around listening to my mom and I talk about how I had to start putting Tucker in his cage when we leave the house cuz he'd been acting out a little, chewing stuff up.
"That's mean." Sean snapped. "You shouldn't lock him up." I again explained WHY we lock him up in his cage and that's when my snotty-ass brother started in how it was wrong that I had brought Daisy (our aggressive rat terrier mix) to a (no-kill) shelter a week before Hunter was born. Normally I just brush off his comments but I was feeling emotional that day and his comment just sparked off my anger.
"Maybe you need to mind your own god damn business. When you have kids someday, you'll understand. No parent wants to keep an aggressive, unstable, BITING animal in the house with their newborn child. And we tried our hardest to find Daisy a home but didn't have luck, so when this shelter said they'd take her, that was our last option."
"Yeah right," He scoffed, "That's what you do. Get tired of an animal and bring it to a shelter."
At that, I completely blew up. I can't remember exactly what I said but I know our argument turned VERY heated and Sean was practically up in my face screaming at me. I told him to get the hell out of my house right now.
He slammed the screen door in my face as I made sure he left.
Meanwhile, my poor baby Hunter, hearing our raised voices and feeling the negativity, was crying in my mom's arms which in turn made me feel WORSE for losing my temper like that in front of him. My brother came back up to the door and rang the bell and I refused to answer it so my mom did to see what he wanted.
"What are you going to do, April, when you get tired of the BABY? Bring HIM to a shelter?" He snapped so nastily before my mom told him to leave.
And that was it. The last straw. I've always tolerated my brother's immaturity, his sense of self-entitlement, his selfishness...but don't EVER bring my child into it.
I yelled through that screen door that he was to NEVER come back, that I had no brother. And after hearing all of this, Daryl was ready to write him off too. Big D had heard enough about past shit my brother has pulled in addition to his attitude and treatment of me throughout mine and Daryl's relationship. He was not going to tolerate ANYONE speaking to his wife and about his child like that.
I stayed pissed off for a long time. Then it changed to hurt. Here my son's ONLY uncle, wanted nothing to do with him. Holidays passed, Hunter's birthday, and nothing. When my mom would see Sean she'd ask if he wanted to see a picture of Hunter to which he replied, "No." We have friends who are closer and care more for our son this my own brother. This hurts me despite the fact that I know how my brother is. We've always had a rocky relationship but I ALWAYS hold out hope that he had finally grown up, wizened up. After our father died, I prayed he would realize JUST how important family is.
Anyway, Sean texted me the other morning asking about an acquaintance of ours. I wasn't even going to respond but he kept at it. I answered his question than forwarded a pic of Hunter saying "Your nephew, in case you are interested." Sean accused me of laying a guilt trip on him when I was the one who told HIM never to come back. True, but still, he's always been this way. After going back and forth through text for quite a while (and him admitting to me that he was THISCLOSE to punching me in the face that day. Nice brother, right?) I told him that is what I don't' need anymore. The drama.
My son and my husband are THE most important things in my life and I don't want to deal with that shit anymore. So next time Sean is in town, he said he was going to try to stop by. We "made up" I guess you can say, and it's not perfect, but then again, our relationship has NEVER been.
But with that silly firetruck going off, and Daryl's thoughts about maybe my Dad was happy that me and my brother had made up--well it has me wondering. As I sit here and stare at my silly son rubbing his dirty bib all over his head and clanking his fork in blueberry pancake crumbs, smiling mischievously at me, I know what is most important. If Sean doesn't end up wanting/maintaining a relationship with his first and ONLY nephew, it will be HIS loss.
And I think I'll be okay with it. I can't force something that might never be.