Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Stats, Furloughs, and the Month of October

I'm pretty active on Facebook.  I post funny things about the kids, pictures from vacations and, of course, all of A's videos on herpetology and skateboarding.  I especially like how this forum has allowed me to keep in touch with, and often reacquaint myself with, childhood friends and teammates.  I like Facebook.

I've mentioned it a few times around here about how the girls get significantly more attention in comparison to the boys.  My parents are the worst in this area.  I'm getting used to my parents first asking about the girls and then the boys get an inquiry almost as an afterthought or something they know they are "supposed" to do.  C and S think I'm exaggerating about this, but they too cross this line and, frankly, have absolutely no idea what it's like for our family.  I think at this point the boys blow it off and shrug their shoulders, simply accepting that grandma and grandpa go to all of M's games and E gets special dinners.  I can't tell you how many times a day I get the dreaded question, "How ARE the girls?" It gets so old.  It still hurts my feelings.

On Facebook, however, the stats are right there.  If I post anything about the girls (which I do just as much as the boys), I get quadruple the amount of likes.  People who don't even know the girls add comments and light up that blue thumbs up.  I don't know why it bothers me.  Am I secretly still harboring sibling rivalry with my dead sister?  Is my frustration colored by the experiences with my family?  Am I jealous for the boys? Why do I have a problem with the attention the girls get?  Their story is undoubtedly sad and tragic.  I think maybe some of these feelings stem from my need to get people to understand that yes, the girls lost their parents, but they have a family and we're taking care of them. I don't want them or us as a family to continue to be defined by tragedy.  We have five kids and work hard everyday to treat them the same even when everyone outside of this house doesn't.

Or maybe this is all in my head.  As Chris Rock once said, though, "You can't argue math.  Everything else is debatable."  In this case, the stats don't lie.

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If I see one more post or comment from people about "essential" federal employees, blah, blah, blah, I'm going to scream.  These are real people with real families and mortgages, bills and expenses.  My husband works really hard and is very good at what he does.  He hasn't had a raise in years.  He works in the public sector because he wants his job to have a purpose. He is now sitting up in bed reading sports news on his nook.  One day not getting paid, probably no big deal.  Weeks not getting paid...we could have issues.

Congress passed a law.  The Supreme Court upheld it.  An idiot group within Congress is attempting to thwart our legislative process and is willing to have the government shutdown.  Obamacare has NOTHING to do with the budget (it's an insidious law that actually makes sure EVERYONE in the country has access to health insurance...egads!).  In my day, we called this being poor sports.  It makes me absolutely sick.  In the meantime, I'm going to continue to work my butt off just in case I have to be the sole breadwinner in the house.

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I hate the month of October.  The accident was in October.  This month last year K almost died. C and I were talking yesterday that we question everything we do during the month of October thinking that it's colored by our feelings at this time. This will be four years since the accident.  It still feels like it was yesterday.  It still feels that in 23 days we'll have to relive it all over again.

8 comments:

  1. Ugh. All of this is hard. All of it. xo

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  2. It's hard when you feel like your kids are being slighted. When my first daughter was born the whole extended family came together and rejoiced. By the time my second daughter was born there was a weird schism in the family, and she wasn't acknowledged at all. Don't even ask me about when my son came along. The goofiness of family politics and connections can have far reaching and strange effects. I know none of it had anything to do with how my younger children were received into the world, but it still hurts, years later, to feel they didn't get their due. So I hear you, and I don't know any way to undo that sense of hurt, but I'll bet you anything you give enough love and attention to your boys that they will be fine. But I still wish life weren't so unfair.

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  3. Ugh. Lost my whole comment! Accidentally pasted over it. Will re-write it again in a bit. It was long lol

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  4. People tend to get all weird around those who have experienced tragedy. They don't know how to act. They compensate by over compensating. Its in our nature as humans to worry about those we think are broken, troubled, or needy. We're drawn to percieved drama in other peoples lives, with a need to fix them while feeling better about ourselves that we don't have such troubles- it makes our troubles seem insignificant. Its not fair, but its who we are as people in todays society.

    Its perfectly natural to feel hurt and angry that your boys are being put second, all the time. As an outsider looking in, I'd like to point out something you're missing here... the lack of attention given to your boys, speaks volumes about the boys themselves- and you as a parent. Your family and friends dont see anything with them to fix, worry, or gossip about. There's no drama there. Those boys have experienced the affects of the accident as much as anyone, yet from the outside they appear to have came through it unscathed (im not saying thats the case- just that i think it appears that way)

    I cant possibly pretend to know what this is like for you, and i could be completely off base here, but i think would be nice to be able to tell everyone to back off the girls. Someday (i hope sooner than later) people need to treat them as the small people they are-Instead of seeing and treating them as 'the accident'. Yes, this happened. It was and is tragic- but its not who they are. It shouldn't define them. And it shouldn't define your family either. .

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    1. Amanda, thanks so much for your thoughtful comments. It was definitely worth the wait :) I just hope for the day that the girls are looked and threated without the lense of the tragedy. So if they do something well it's not extra special OR if they do something wrong, it's not excused by their past. At the heart of it, really, is that we work so hard to treat all of them the same (and just take care of ALL of them) and then people come from the outside and almost disregard all the work we're doing (if that makes any sense at all). That last paragraph really hit the nail on the head. Thanks so much for reading and caring.

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  5. Peg, I second everything Amanda wrote Spot on.

    As for the government, I've done nothing but rant, rave and curse for two whole days now. I keep thinking I'm finished and then I'm not. Quite frankly, I'm scared. We survived this summer--barely--but this could be REALLY bad for us. We are REAL people with REAL families. THEY are still getting paid. Are you freaking kidding me?!?!??? Yes(!!!) to all you wrote about that as well!

    I'm sorry October sucks. I really am. July is my sucky month. I understand.

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    1. I am beside myself with fury about the furloughs. K was sorta productive today, but it's going to get old after awhile having him around all day. The kids also have a field trip on Thursday that will be cancelled if they don't sort this thing out. This is going to be economically devastating to our region if it lasts too long. All because they didn't like a bill that was passed, signed and upheld. FURIOUS!

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  6. I couldn't agree more about the furloughs. I can't even think about it for more than 30 seconds at a time, because I get so angry that I have to allow myself very small doses at regular intervals, rather than binge-ranting. It's so incredibly selfish, stupid, and short-sighted. Did I mention selfish? UGH!

    As fir the treatment of the girls--ugh again. That isn't fair or helpful to anyone. There probably isn't a single explanation for why it bothers you because it is problematic in so very many different ways. Unfair to the girls. Unfair to the boys. Unfair to you and K. Just wrong. I'm sorry.

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