Thursday, April 4, 2013
I have had a fun, full week, despite my body's persistent and annoying attempts to hack up one or both of my lungs. Yes, I'm still fighting the cold that invaded my personal space. Though I have made progress, the cough seems to want to stick with me. Every attempt was made to sleep, including downing a bottle of narcotic cough syrup (not all at once of course, but one teaspoon a day at bedtime over the course of about 10 days), plus (on the worst days) NyQuil, with a Tylenol PM chaser. Early on I even tried the latest weird homemade treatment for "even the worst coughs;" I slathered my feet with Vicks VapoRub and covered them with socks before going to bed. Yeah. Well, that got me a smelly bedroom, but no relief. Mucinex actually helps, and oddly enough, so does using my inhaler, which I usually forget I have, since I don't use it much. The cough syrup is gone as of last night's dose, so it's yet to be seen how I do tonight. But the last few nights, I've been able to sleep lying down (another improvement).
As I mentioned last time, my brothers and their wives and two of my nieces flew in last week, and we've been spending a lot of time together. The dynamics have changed since we were kids, when we said anything we wanted to one another, regardless of each other's feelings, and usually while we were screaming. I've noticed a unique thing about adult siblings: we forget to treat each other with the kindness we would use with strangers. That is not to say this has been a mean-spirited visit. It hasn't! But I was thinking about my brother, Mark one day. We spent years . . . like maybe 10 or more . . . without seeing each other back in our 20s and 30s due to the fact that we lived on opposite coasts and we were busy getting married, having kids, getting divorced, and getting remarried during that time. Those were the years when we really defined ourselves as independent adults, when we became who we are. For siblings who experience this kind of separation, it's good to remember when you do finally see each other again, it would benefit the future of our relationships (if we want to have ongoing relationships with our adult siblings) to remember we are not who we once were when we shared life under the same roof.
It's important to listen to one another and demonstrate the courtesy to each other that you'd extend to friends and/or coworkers. We can reminisce about our childhoods, and laugh about our weird and wonderful upbringing, but we should not forget that we are not those kids anymore. Perhaps if we live long enough, we'll really get to know each other as people, and appreciate our strengths and have compassion for our weaknesses. Then, I think, we can have the best of fellowship as friends and siblings.
Meantime, my nieces are growing into lovely young ladies. Rachel is closing in on 14 (this August) and will soon complete middle school, and head into high school. Holly is 10 and in 4th grade. The older they get, the more clearly I can see the adults they will become, and they're going to be good people. Until then, there will be the typical sisterly squabbles and secrets, and they'll drive their mother crazy with their messy bedrooms and bickering. But at the heart of their lives, they are sisters, and I think they will be each other's friend and confidant one day. I'm glad I get to be a part of their lives.
Rachel and Holly will fly home with their parents tomorrow, and Mark and his wife and our youngest brother will fly back to Seattle the next day. My parents and I will go back to our normal daily life, as will my siblings in their respective homes. And we'll look forward to the next time we get together, hopefully early next year for our dad's 80th birthday. We still have time to plan for that though.
I've been so fortunate to not only have last week off work for our school district's spring break, but also 3 days this week to spend with my family. I've relaxed and enjoyed time with them. We (girls) had our pedicures yesterday, and last night all of us drove down to the Sponge Docks in Tarpon Springs for dinner at our favorite Greek restaurant. But as the old axiom states, all good things must come to an end. Vacation is over. Families need to fly home. It's time to get back to work. And I have most definitely had enough of this cold.
Until next time . . .