Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Here I am.

My older brother and I have always had a very special connection. He is mentally retarded and is addicted to music. My role in life became being the in-home entertainment superstar that he dreamed of. I know that I would have become a dancer regardless of if he was in my life or not. Dancing just runs in my blood. But I don't think I would sing so much. Constantly. All the time. If it wouldn't have been for his love of hearing me. Much to the rest of my family's dismay I loved always having the willing audience that my brother gave me.

So when my Mom called me in California 4 months ago and said, "We need someone to take care of Ben. His day program isn't working out. He needs to be at home with someone who cares about him." What was I supposed to do? I had a newborn baby and I lived 2,000 miles away. It became an issue that my husband and I had to sit down and write a pros and cons list about. The cons of staying in California boiled down to very selfish things. Things like "...well if we move I can't shop at H&M or American Apparel anymore....I can't hop on the freeway and get lost in the vintage stores on Melrose anymore... Our son can never know what it's like to have an annual pass to Disneyland if we move... I can't go to the beach on the weekends and lay around with the yellow sun giving me skin cancer if we move..." We did leave behind my husband's mom and sister who we are close to. But what type of mother would I be if I chose Disneyland over taking care of my own brother. So we packed up and moved back to the Midwest.

Moments like this make me 100% sure that it is the right decision to be here. Lex will grow up close with his cousin. Even if she does attempt to poke his eyes out at any given chance.
Then I see this photo from my wedding sitting on the kitchen counter and I just want to cry. Pack. Move back. I want to be there. I want to be with all of my loving friends sitting on the front porch in January drinking Malibu and pineapple.

Being here is really hard sometimes and my old life in California becomes almost a figment of my imagination. So in moments like this morning when my brother is on the floor yelling unintelligible sounds at me, mad that he can’t communicate to me what he wants, biting his hand, trying to bite me, halfway dressed- I just have to remember that it is better for us that we are here. I made a choice to take the high road even if I'd rather be driving to Melrose. I'm finding that I'm really struggling with the high road. I'm lusting after my sunny beaches and college friends. But I'm here in negative temperatures taking care of my brother and trying to find happiness.

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