“Great thread title you got there, Marley.”
“Yeah, for some reason I suck at these.”
“You do. This one isn’t about anybody dying, is it?”
“For once, no.”
“Still, that’s a head-slapper of a title.”
“Can we move on?”
So we’ve had some unusual drama in my family of late: the short version is that my Mom, age 56 and (so you would think) looking forward to being done with having young kids in her house, since my youngest brother is nearing college time, is caring for her two youngest nephews.
This wasn’t supposed to happen, obviously. Both the parents have serious problems, and the father (my oldest cousin) has been in and out jail, I think three times now - hey, maybe going on four! Sometime last month, he punched his wife and was hauled away to jail. He may still be there, because my family is too pissed off to bail him out. Or maybe he’s been sentenced. There’s not much contact happening at this point, for obvious reasons.
Shortly after he was arrested, his wife called the police and said they should come and get her two sons, ages 6 and 3, because she’d overdosed on pills. I get the impression this wasn’t true, but again, I wouldn’t know. I think I’ve met her once, very briefly, the other time her first son came to live with my parents. I believe she really did try to kill herself that time, but it was five years ago and only lasted about a week.
So the boys were sent to a foster family. Their grandmother, my mom’s oldest sister, was not considered a decent choice to take care of them because she’s a space case we hardly ever see, and, well, you can see how well her son turned out, and her 18-year-old daughter ran away from home to live with her high school boyfriend’s family after giving the mother a fake story about taking a house with a bunch of friends. So she was not considered, at least within my own family. I don’t know if she was interested. My mom’s younger sister also didn’t seem too interested in the situation, but my mom found it unacceptable.
And so my parents hosted CPS for all the appropriate interviews. They were awarded legal guardianship Wednesday and the boys moved in yesterday. Nobody knows how long this is arrangement going to last, since presumably one of the parents would have to prove fitness to take care of the kids again. They’re allowed supervised visits at some point, presumably after the kids get acclimated to my family (if my experience is any indication, this will take about 20 years).
It’s nobody’s idea of a good situation. My dad isn’t thrilled. The middle brother likes kids, but he prefers to be left alone. And I don’t know what the youngest one thinks because he’s not back from summer camp for another two weeks, but it’s hard to imagine a 16-year-old being very excited about a pair of young kids suddenly coming to live with him and possibly interfering with his plans to play Halo until all hours and have his friends over whenever possible.
That said, it sounds like everybody understands this beats the alternatives. And in particular I’m really impressed with my mom. She didn’t have to do this. That family is not part of our lives at all and it would’ve been reasonable to conclude that she didn’t need to get involved and that somebody else could have handled it. She’s raised three children already, but she’s rising to this occasion. I’m proud of her.