Monday, October 10, 2005

Poor Planning

I'm drunk. Not enough to achieve my goal of passing out and forgetting this godforsaken day. And I'm out of fucking tequila and apparently no one is monitoring their email waiting for drunken tearful pleas for rides to the liquor store. Well, fuck that. Here's the problem, America. I have a nephew about to turn four and his best hope for a "good" life is to be raised by my brother who owes his whole life to the Ku Klux Klan, who took him in and fed him and gave him a job and kept him afloat when no one else could reach him and what the fuck do you do when you realize that the Klan is keeping your brother alive? Oh, sure, you can all say that you wouldn't have anything to do with a bunch of violent racist assholes, but they aren't feeding your nephew, who is too young to help himself. My god, how do you stand it when you look in the back seat and see him sleeping with the sunglasses you bought him when he insisted resting on top of his little blond head and he's smiling in his sleep because nothing bothers him and he doesn't quite get that his mom is a crack whore--"It's okay, grandpa, don't cry. Sometimes mommies don't come home. But you have to be a big boy. Don't cry."--but he surely knows something is wrong. Who'se going to take him? My parents? They can't. They're old and they're falling apart and they let him do what he wants because they can't stand to see him upset because in the back of their minds they know how lucky we are to have him and have him well and not ruined by all of the drugs his parents couldn't stop doing long enough to give him a real shot. Me? I couldn't even get him to the fucking bathroom on time and he cried when he peed and I cried too because it wasn't his fault. I should have guessed, but the amount of Koolaid and juice and stuff, that he'd have to go. And then, y'all, I couldn't find any clean underwear for him, so I put him in a pair of dirty ones and he didn't know any better, which makes me cry harder to think of it. Oh, come near us, America. Give us small children. Let us ruin them. Why the fuck not? I already have the recalcitrant brother's dog and I have the Butcher who came to me because the recalcitrant brother needed to go home and both of them being in the same place would violate both of their terms of probation. And I would in a second take that little boy too. I don't know how, because I can't even keep us in food and clothing and today I just want to get drunk, but I would find a way to make that boy a happy home if I could. I'm so afraid for him, I can't stand it. And I know he loves his dad and could not wait to see him, but Jesus Fucking Christ, I feel like a failure letting him go down to Georgia. I can't stand it. I just can't stand it. I feel like my heart is about to explode, I want so much to do what's right for him. But what's right? What the fuck is right? I can't see a way. Katherine Coble, who I think doesn't really like me, but I'm constantly taken aback by her wisdom, said something about making a commitment to life and I think that was the wisest thing I've heard in a long time, but I don't know how to do it. I feel like, if I could do it, I'd do it, but I don't see how. What happens when she gets him back? What then? My sister in law, not Katherine. The Butcher is home and he says I'm being silly, which means he's not going to take me to the liquor store. "The other nephew only seems mildly fucked up."


Blogger Kat Coble said...

Why do you think I don't like you? I love you very much. I'm sorry that you don't get that. Just because I sometimes disagree with your ideas in no way means I don't love you. It just means that I can be cranky and loud about it at the same time. If I didn't care for you at all I wouldn't come back here. (I don't visit Egalia...)

On the other love this little boy with all your heart. Don't you think that love is enough to make a better home for him? So he had an accident once. Everyone has accidents in one form or another--pee running down their leg, marrying the wrong guy, whathaveyou. You have as much going for you as anyone. Add to that the fact that he's your favourite person and you can't stop being the best parent for him.

Remember the whole "hope" thing a week or two ago? Well, here's your shot. How much more can you embrace hope than by taking a chance on this little boy? I know the logistics are majorly fucking (sorry, Baptists) daunting, but I doubt they're as daunting as watching him grow up in a hard row. I know you can do it, because you're made of tough stuff.

10/10/2005 03:01:00 PM  
Blogger Ivy, the Great and Powerful said...

Oh, man. I wish we were friends in real life, I'd pick you up and take ya to the liquor store in a second. Well, if I had a car that worked at the moment, which I don't, but anyway...

From my experience, no matter what you do, even the very best parents screw their kids up to some extent. The thing is, the kid needs to grow up with a lot of love, and some decent values, and everything else will generally sort itself out in time. There have been times where I haven't gotten my own kids to the bathroom on time, it happens. That's not going to screw a kid up royally. Growing up as part of the KKK, most assuredly will.

I'm with Katherine, I think you should see if you can take your nephew. It's hard, financially, f'sho, but there are resources which will be able to help you. And if you ever had any parenting questions, I'd be there to help out, I'm a pretty solid parent, I think.

Don't let the bastards get you down, as my grandma always says. Sometimes you have to just jump right off that cliff and do what you your gut tells you is the right thing to do, even if it doesn't make the most sense.


10/10/2005 03:35:00 PM  
Blogger Ivy, the Great and Powerful said...

Sorry, I left something out that I wanted to say. You said:

I don't know how, because I can't even keep us in food and clothing

As far as food, kids don't really eat THAT much. Well, my kids do, but that's another story altogether, haha. One extra kid is not that hard to feed. I don't know if y'all have Aldi in your hood, but it has been a lifesaver for our food budget.

Clothes, well, Once Upon a Child and other children's consignement is your friend, lemme tell ya. I bought Nate's entire summer wardrobe for just under $50 at the Rocking Horse (a children's consignment shop much like once upon a child, but in Murfreesboro), and every single bit of that clothing is name brand like Gap Kids, etc. If you take good care of those clothes, you can resell them on Ebay and clothe the kid for practically free.

I really think you can do this, if it's what you want to do.

10/10/2005 03:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Bob K said...

B, don't feel bad about your nephew peeing on himself. I live with my kids every day--so you'd think I'd know better by now.

This weekend, my four-year-old was playing soccer. I dressed him for his game. His shorts have a drawstring, which I tied in your normal shoestring kind of tie. It never dawned on me that when he tried to untie it, it would just knot up on him. So he couldn't get his pants down and peed all over himself. (I'll need to save this post for girlfriend blackmail material in about a dozen years.)

10/10/2005 03:44:00 PM  
Blogger bridgett said...

"And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?

I did.

And what did you want?

To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth."

(Raymond Carver, who looked destined for alcoholic decline and was killed by cancer instead. It's always something. But he got to the point. We all want to be beloved on the earth. And that's about the only thing that ultimately will matter to any of us.)

I already spent my two cents. Just found this snippet and thought it was apropos.

10/10/2005 04:12:00 PM  
Blogger Yankee T said...

I just emailed you.

10/10/2005 04:57:00 PM  
Blogger Peggasus said...

Oh B, I too wish I knew you and could be there to help in any way I could, like giving you clothes that my boys have outgrown (they are always practically new, as kids tend to keep on growing like that). And toys. And all the other things that chidren need.

But most importantly, you are already giving him the love and attention that every child needs in order to thrive, rich or poor. He KNOWS that his Aunt B loves him. So he's got that going for him, and that is HUGE.

Don't sweat the peeing thing; it happens.

And the Butcher is wrong, you are not being silly. If I could Paypal you a bottle of something right this second, I totally would. Tell HIM to STFU.

10/10/2005 06:50:00 PM  
Blogger Kat Coble said...

I echo that.

Tell him to STFU and clean the damn living room while he's at it.

10/10/2005 07:07:00 PM  
Blogger rugdesigner said...

I have to second everything being said here already. The most important thing a child needs is love and you certainly have that for your nephew.

You have so much more strength than you realize. You have a wonderful head on your shoulders. I get that just from reading how your mind works. You CARE, B. Follow your heart. Stop doubting yourself. You have it in you to do whatever you determine to do.

You also have a community of individuals ready to assist you in any way possible; even those of us that have never met you personally. I'll help you in any way I can. I emailed you earlier. Please feel free to email me anytime. Accept the outstretched hands offered by everyone here.

10/10/2005 07:25:00 PM  
Blogger Aunt B said...

Y'all are very kind. I guess I should have made it clearer that I have no reason to believe that my brother and sister-in-law would hand the nephew over to anyone perminently, even though they regularly dump him on my parents for months at a time. I just wish that they would make some decisions based on what's best for him. And I wish I didn't feel so helpless in the face of the chaos that is his life.

And I wish I hadn't drank all that tequila, but that probably goes without saying.

10/10/2005 07:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi! I'm an internet wanderer, but I read your blog because I live in Nashville too. One of these days I'll move to blogger, but for now I'm still stuck at livejournal. Anyway- I can feel where you are coming from. I have two sorta nephews, and I don't know what to do- their parents are totally fucked up, but I just got out of college, and what can a girl do? eep.

The klan though, woah that's some scary stuff.

If you could take him in, you may be able to qualify for families first. While I'm not a proponent of jumping on welfare- well, sometimes people really do need it when there are unexpected kids. And there is a special program for people who raise other people's children, I think.

And little boys take longer to potty train than girls, or so I have learned after my nephew's 8374983798787987th pair of wet pants (and he's nearing 4.) So don't blame yourself. The more chill you are about it, the more he will be too. Every day is a learning experience with kids, and there is no perfect way.

You sound like a completely awesome person, and you earned your tequila night. Hang in there!

(shampooincident on lj, if you were curious)

10/10/2005 08:12:00 PM  
Blogger Owen said...

I may not know a lot about parenting, but I do know the KKK aren't known for raising well adjusted people.

10/10/2005 10:26:00 PM  

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