Things Wind Down

My brother and nephews left this morning. My parents leave tomorrow morning. It’s been a nice but rough visit. The dog behaved and we may have acquired another cat. There is, at any rate, a cat curled up in the garage, who has not been allowed in the house until it can visit a vet.

It’s hard to talk about them. Especially as they get older and my name becomes more firmly attached to Tiny Cat Pants. But it’s hard. Especially when the nephews are here and it seems like my brother just pushes off all parenting of them on my parents. And everyone yells all the time and no one listens to each other unless there’s yelling. And I just start to feel like there’s some kind of equivalent of the Taos hum when we’re all together, a background level of noise that just starts to work on your nerves.

I wish I were a better aunt, but I feel like I have no patience for what are probably very normal kid things. And I also feel very heartbroken and weirded out by my nephews who clearly have no parents. They are good kids, better, really, than we could have hoped for considering that they effectively have no parents. But it weirds me out, how self-sufficient they are, even emotionally, as if they have learned there never is any comfort coming. And I have trouble relating to them. They don’t do what they’re asked. They don’t do what they’re told. But they do what they like, which is often what you’d like them to do.

Their interest in their Native American heritage is interesting, considering the philosophical underpinings at least one of them has been given.

My brother all but asked my dad to drive the youngest nephew back to North Carolina, because he didn’t want to do it and I’m afraid it left such a bad taste in my mouth that it kind of soured the last part of their visit. I keep trying to tell myself that it doesn’t have anything to do with me, but it pisses me off so much that he is not considerate of them. I mean, I don’t know where he was supposed to learn this, but he’s a grown man.

And I don’t think that he gets that my parents are old people. Not that it would ever be okay to try to ditch you kid with your parents and leave them to drive 24 hours while you drive 4, but to ask people almost 65 to do that, when one of them would have to do the majority of the driving, it just makes me so mad.

And then I heard him this morning telling my dad it cost him $200 to get from Georgia to North Carolina to Nashville and was going to take him another $200 to do the reverse trip.

I don’t care if my dad wants to give my brother $400. My dad can give my brother four million dollars, for all I care, as long as my parents have enough money to do what they want in their retirement.

But I just don’t think it costs $400. I mean, I know it doesn’t cost $400.

And the ease with which he lies in order to get as much money as he can out of my parents irritates me. Because it makes me feel like he either doesn’t get that whatever money they have is what they have to live on for the rest of their lives, may they be long, or he doesn’t care. And that really, really bothers me.

Oh well, what can you do?

I feel like it’s both my business and none of my business and that just sets me ill at ease.

And I wish my nephews were having easier lives and I don’t understand why the person I know who is most responsible for making that happen is not doing it. And the fact that this is someone I love and care deeply for makes it very hard to accept.