It will be kinda sad tomorrow--of course, no one will mention it because my family tends to ignore the Elephant in the Room, but.......
The reason my nephew is coming to the farm is because he now lives alone in his own apartment--for the first time in 18 years.
His oldest child, a son, is autistic. A high level learning form of autism, call Asperger's. My nephew's wife tends to coddle all 3 of the children. There are no rules, just do your own thing. If the girls don't brush their hair, they look disheveled all day long. If they wear mis-matched clothes, that is their privilege--the girls are 11 and 9. It's been this way since they were little. The middle girl has long, curly red hair. It is always in nests and knots.
We have always thought the wife a bit strange. She rarely speaks, unless asked a direct question. I'm not saying she is stupid because she isn't. She works from home for our State government and is very intelligent, makes a lot of money, but............well for example--I had a wedding shower for her. When she opened the gifts, she would open one end of the paper, look inside to see what the gift was and pass it on for the next gift. No thank you to the gift giver, no comment.
I remember one day, Fred and I were visiting my Dad and nephew and his family were there. Fred was outside walking the dog back in one of the fields. Nephew's son wanted to go outside and play, but his mother said to him, "You can't. You have allergies to dogs and cats and the dog is out there."
So the kid started whining and I said, "It will be all right. Fred and the dog are way far away in the field. They won't come near you. You want me to take you out and play?"
His mom said, "Dog dander can carry on the wind. He has to stay inside."
So the son cried while she held him on her lap and patted his back.
Wait. What? Fred and the dog were like 1/8 of a mile away!
It was revealed the next year that the boy had NO allergies to animals or anything for that matter. The Mom used that excuse because the kids wanted a pet and she didn't. So she played it up to the boy that he was ill when he really wasn't.
So early this summer, the son, now 16 has decided he hates his Dad, so.........Dad had to move out. This upset his two daughter's a lot. He gets to take them every weekend, but he is not allowed into the house--which of course he is paying maintenance on--because it might upset the son.
We all chipped in to help my nephew set up his place. I gave him my brand new vacuum cleaner that I had only used twice because it was too hard for me to push and pull. Susan and Chuck got new furniture and gave him theirs--which was 5 years old. My kids gave him extra dishes and towels and stuff like that and Jennifer, set up his legal "separate maintenance agreement", so he wouldn't have to pay an attorney.
He thought he was having his girls for Thanksgiving and wanted Susan and Chuck to come up to his apartment, but last Friday, his wife announced that she and the kids were going to her parents on Thanksgiving Day.
This whole situation ticks me off! Number One, since when does a kid dictate that his parent has to move out of the house? Number Two, my nephew has always been loving and kind to his only son, it's not like he ridicules him or is strict with him. Number Three, I'd just like to slap his wife up side her head!
Last week, when I visited Susan, we talked and laughed about what would have happened if WE had told our Daddy he had to leave. He was mean to us and we both wanted our Mother to leave him and take us to live in some nice little house in town.
"Can you even imagine?" I said. "If we were able to get up off the floor after he beat us............."
"We'd have to go live in the barn the rest of our lives," Susan chimed in.
I had problems concentrating when I was a kid. My Dad's way of solving that was to slap me on the left side of my head and say, "Wake up!"
My sister took piano lessons and was very good. When Daddy walked in the house, all piano playing stopped. "Can't stand that dang racket!" he'd say.
I had to practice my French Horn, sitting on a bale of straw out in the cold barn. "Don't play that in the house. Sounds like a dying moose!"
So anyway, tomorrow we will eat and laugh and play a board game and have a great time, and I will hug my nephew very tightly, but I won't ask him how he is doing or anything like that.
We will push the Elephant over into the corner, throw a sheet over it and pretend everything is fine.
That's the way we are. No one is allowed to show any emotion other than happy smiles--sad isn't it?