Monday, June 28, 2010

Justin and Ryan - Brothers Away but Together in Heart!

There are many people out there in this world who are morning people who rise from their beds cheery, energized and ready to start their day.  Some of them probably don't even use alarm clocks.  They're naturally caffeinated.

I need the alarm clock... and the 10 minute snooze button... and the 10 minute snooze button again. When I was in college, I would set my alarm an hour early so I'd have 6 snoozes before I had to officially get up.  Lest you think I'm quirky (which I am but that's beside the point), there is likely a Facebook group with thousands of people who do the same thing!  Late night owls and snoozers unite!  :-)

On Sunday morning all of our family was up before 7:30 a.m., something that doesn't normally happen on a Sunday.  Today was special.  Justin and John left for a week of Boy Scout Camp at Camp Meriwether in Oregon.  John will be with him Sunday and Monday, then home Tuesday and Wednesday and then back at camp again Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  I am SO PROUD of Justin for embarking on this adventure and challenge.  I am also very impressed with John for all he is doing to help Justin with Scouting.  I will be blogging more about all that stuff later this week!  

As for me, I'll be taking Ryan to Camp Kiddo (yes, that's really the name!!) in the mornings from Monday - Friday and then will be hosting Camp Krejcha, party of 2 in the afternoons and evenings.  

John and I were a bit apprehensive about how the boys would deal with not being in each other's company for an entire week. They love each other so much!  Last night neither son wanted to go to bed alone.  Although they eventually did, we let Ryan have some snuggle time with Justin first and then this morning, he crawled into bed with him.  It is amazing and touching the special bond that Justin and Ryan share, especially considering that they are over 6 years apart.  Justin is an amazing protector of Ryan and Ryan absolutely adores his big brother. 

John remarked last night as we were watching them play together that Justin and Ryan have a special sibling relationship that neither he or I ever had.  We are blessed that they can experience this and feel so lucky and honored to be able to raise such amazing boys.

As a little background, I was an only child growing up.  I was adopted shortly after birth.  When I was 18 (almost 19) and in my sophomore year of college, my birthmother located me and soon after we met at the Dream Inn in Santa Cruz, CA.  At that time, I met my 2 younger half-sisters who were 6 and 4.  Over the years that followed, we would get together sporadically.  I did see them occasionally and at special occasions like graduations and weddings.  I love them and consider them my sisters but I know that their relationship with each other is majorly different and stronger than my relationship with them because they grew up in the same household and are close in age.  I'm okay with that.  It obviously makes lots of sense!

John has 7 half-siblings, 3 on his mother's side and 4 on his father's. He is the only child of his Mom & Dad.  He has expressed that he felt in many ways what he perceived to be as an only child for his later years growing up since the 2 sisters and 1 brother he lived with were around 6, 7 and 8 years older and were all full siblings.  By the time John was in his teens, his siblings were off to college and then marriage, so it was definitely a different kind of dynamic for him and them than with them and each other.

John and I don't really like saying "half-sister" or "half-brother" because we feel it demeans the sibling relationship and we certainly don't want to disrespect anyone in our respective extended families.  The reason I mention it here is because when it comes to bloodline, it's pretty amazing that between us we have 9 half siblings but neither John or I have a full sibling.  As such, we don't have that point of reference in raising the kiddos.  It's not a negative, just part of who we are.    

When we observe the strong connection between Justin and Ryan, we speculate it's partly genetic, partly social, partly environmental, partly a spectrum connection and partly because we do our best to make sure they have lots of time together and with us as a family unit.

So anyway, getting back to the point I was originally leaning toward, when it came time for Justin to go to camp this morning, he definitely wanted Ryan to be awake to say good-bye to him, give him hugs, kisses and a big send-off.  It was so sweet to watch.

After John and Justin left, Ryan and I stayed up and then later in the morning, we kept our Sunday routine of over a year and went to church.  I dropped Ryan off at his Sunday preschool and went to worship.  I thought of my family many times throughout the service and prayed for everyone's safety, sanity and positive attitude throughout the week ahead. 

When I went to pick Ryan back up after service, the first thing he said was, "Where's Daddy & Justin?".  I let him know they were at camp. Ryan told me that "he'd like to wait for them" before we left the church and subsequently sat down to do so.  Of course that wasn't really feasible but it was very sweet.  

Throughout the day he asked about his brother and Dad many times. I showed him their pictures, we went over social stories and for the most part, he seemed okay.  He has done overnights away from Justin before but never anything at all like this for either boy, so we'll just keep taking it one day at a time.  I had him draw pictures for the two that we'll mail out to camp tomorrow and I'm sure that will lift their spirits!  John was able to get cell phone reception at the camp and reach us to share a bit about their day and to say nightly prayers over the phone with Ryan and keep that part of the routine going. 

I have a lot more to share but will save that for tomorrow.  I need to get up early to get Ryan to Camp Kiddo and I have to make sure that I have the alarm set correctly!  I'm going to try it with just 2 snoozes this time!

Hope you have a fantastic Monday (or whatever day you're reading this)!
Karen

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