Friday, August 20

Duck, Duck, Goose.

More than Once I've sat down to write this post because a blog about my life wouldn't be real without something important that goes on in my life. That's what it is, right? Real people connecting over distances to share a little piece of life and hopefully connect in some real way? I keep feeling like I need to get something particular out of me, like ants in my pants, only, on my brain. And this is just a start.
I consider my family to be a very odd bunch. Odd in a good way. I really don't think I'm exaggerating on this one. Most of the things that I've wanted to write about and haven't, have to do with this very odd and varied and beautiful conglomeration of people. And the things I have to say about them are at the moment far beyond my comprehension, therefore I won't try until I have a little more. But I do comprehend a little. There is one person who is slightly less odd, though no less precious, than all of the other beautiful souls in my life.  That would be the individual I am proud to call my sister, Kristin. As children I tried to convince her that pink was a very bad color and that if she liked bows, then we couldn't be friends. She responded by picking up a nasty habit for the backstreet boys, for which she was scoffed and ridiculed to no end until she tor the wretched posters from her wall. Since then, it's been mostly upward for her and I believe that the gap in our creative differences has mostly closed. In other words, I still think she's prettier with out make up.
She taught herself to play the piano. I don't know of anyone in my family who started out taking piano lessons successfully. Most taught themselves to play, but none so voraciously as Kristin. There was a (thankfully brief) period of time at the very beginning of my married life when I Lived with my new husband at the home of my parents in Helena, Montana. I vaguely remember anyone or anything alive accept for myself and my new husband from that period of time, but I remember Kristin at the Piano, moving up the scale and down the scale with not-so-smooth movements.  It seems that the sound of the piano never ceased during those months as Kristin practiced every single day for hours.

After we left Montana, I remember, upon returning, how the random pauses in the middle of verses grew fewer and less dragging and things started to flow in her music. She had so much drive to conquer that part of herself. She did the same thing with her voice, paying for lessons through working, giving piano lessons while she was in high school. As long as I can remember, Kristin has worked hard to make her way and master herself.

Every summer since high school has been spent working 16 hour days so she can pay for college. I, on the other hand, exclusively played most summers and as a result have a healthy amount of unpaid student loans and an unfinished degree. More than once, I doubted her priorities as she was never able to make it to family events because she was always busy working. As if she couldn't take a couple days off in the whole summer to spend with her family, I thought. But now, looking back I admire her dedication and sacrifice.

This summer, Kristin and I have been able to reconnect on levels emotional, and spiritual. These are the connections that I find form the strongest of bonds between two souls. Kristin has been living with my family for the last 2 1/2 months. It seems like I've had one or two of my siblings living with me at least once or twice a year since I've been married. It's actually alot less than that, but I've learned the value of one particular Spanish phrase: "Casado, Casa Quiere" which basically means to me, that a family unit ideally exists independantly, without other families in the same dwelling. Simply because we have different ideas about what the qualities of a home and family should be. The balance of having more than one strong relationship under the same roof alone is hard to strike. It's simple that having Kristin in my home, where I am trying to raise two small children and support my husband emotionally while he supports us all financially and goes to school, has been the easiest balance to strike that I have ever experienced. Kristin has been a babysitter, a dishwasher, and a friend on a daily basis. She has the ability to find  Joy in simplicity even when all of the signs of this life tell her she should be cynical and miserable. She has the grace of being able to Love when any sane person would feel only hurt. The capacity to reach out when she has been cut off from all that was once comfort and constance. I've come to realize, over the last few months, that Kristin's desire to master herself is not limited to the instrument in front of her. I've watched as she jots down notes every day in her little flip book. Questions she is actively looking for answers to about herself, her family, and the walls that place themselves before her. She takes every part of her life and puts it under a microscope, looking for a more profound perspective in becoming the person she wants to be. I hope that some day I can learn the discipline and oneness that she has in her life. She is truly a person with integrity. Being able to laugh at the oddity of our family and cry at it too, will linger in my home for a long while. I am left with the feeling that things will get better little by little and (don't tell) a big chunk of her light is being left here with me to give me strength.

And somehow it hasn't gotten in the way of me living my life. I feel comfortable to be my stinky, sloppy self at all hours of the day and night. Accept for the need to wear more clothing than usual, I think that the whole family feels the same way. For the first time I haven't felt like I couldn't tell her to turn the bathroom light off or please close the front door, or even when I tell her she's wearing too much makeup, she takes it like a champion. And though we have very differing personalities, we are able to share ideas and disagree without discord. I know, this sounds like it should be simple for two mature adults. But I've found that this quality is a fleeting and rare one. Kristin will be leaving again for school next week. Even with all that I see of good and strength, I am a little surprised. Suprised to find that after so long, we are still able to be honest in the nitty gritty of things. And I am grateful that Kristin and I have had the opportunity to seal our relationship after a long pause of distance. For the first time ever, having family live with me, we are parting with a sense of peace between us and an understanding that every needful thing will be taken care of in time, things temporal, emotional and spiritual. This post is mostly to Thank her for the experience and affirmation that most people are real people just trying to live life and stay afloat and find happiness in their own way. I wish her peace as she goes and my Love for her will only continue to grow as I watch the ways in which she continues her very real happiness.


Kristin said...

As far as blogs go, I don't know how they work, but may I just say is that why you so willingly got that peanut butter out of the fridge for me today? It's all clicking now :) And also, THANKYOU. You. are. beautiful. And just for the record, half of that stuff isn't even true. Haha, jokes:) I'm really am speechless. It is miraculous how we have gotten along so darn swell isn't it? Its been wonderful, and I'm going to miss you alot more then I originally planned to.

Dede said...

You are such a beautiful writer, Andrea. Kristin is definitely a keeper!