Tuesday, March 22, 2011

When I Grow Up...

Who really grows up wanting to work in the real world?  When I was growing up I wanted to make movies or be a writer.  I asked my assistant and she wanted to be when she grew up and she said a police officer or a vet (until discovering she liked to push the legal limits and couldn't stomach needles).  When I ask my kids what they want to be when they grow up they give me the best answers.  As simple as they are, they actually make me happy.  Right now my son wants to be a race car driver (a step up in excitement from the previous "scarecrow" profession), my Big Girl goes between wanting to be a crystal hunter and a nurse.  My Baby Girl just keeps me guessing...

No one grows up saying "I want to be a drug addict" because it sounds so fun and lucrative.  My younger brother is a drug addict and I haven't talked to him in eight months.  When I did talk with him (I called him to wish him a happy birthday), he didn't even know who I was.  I watch my parents struggle with the guilt of watching their son kill himself and feeling helpless to stop it.  The guilt of "what did we do wrong" is the only thing my parents agree on - but on separate sides of the country no less.

I have come to terms that I cannot save him - even though I wish I could.  I have accepted that the only thing that makes me feel better is trying to ensure my kids do not choose this same path.  My kids only know they don't see my brother because he lives far away.  I don't tell them about the drugs, the jail time, the skanky girls or that I don't even want him to know where I live.  I don't want them to know him the way I do. 

My whole point is that no one grows up wanting to be a failure at their one shot at life.   Every baby is perfect when they are born and he was no exception.  But life happens and everyone copes differently with the hand they are dealt.  There are no longer any valid excuses as to why he is who he is, but that doesn't stop me from thinking about him all the time and hoping that he decides to make a real life for himself. 


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