THE JOURNEY OF A THOUSAND MILES

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SIBLINGS

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These two cannot get enough of each other. I have 3 older stepbrothers, but they didn’t join our family until I was around 10 years old. So I don’t really know what it is like to have an older brother-younger sister relationship.

From watching these two, I think it must be pretty special.

Sienna’s first word (before even “Mama” or “Dada”) was “Brae.” The first word that comes out of her mouth when she wakes up each morning is “Brae,” as she’s looking around the house for him.

When she spots him, her face lights up like a Christmas tree. And his does, too. Then they race (or in her case, crawl) toward each other, laughing and embracing.

It absolutely melts my heart.

They hold hands in the car. When he leaves the room, she cries. When she’s taking a bath, he has to take one too, even if he’s already taken one. He feeds her. He sings to her before bed. She carries the clothes he’s worn that day around with her.

Quite frankly, it’s a sibling love affair.

And they don’t share a single gene between them. Because, well, it just doesn’t matter to them.

***

A couple cute Brae stories:

1) Brae has been in a Spanish immersion daycare/school since he was 13 weeks old. He’s now over 3.5 years old. The boy speaks Spanish. My skin-is-whiter-than-snow boy speaks Spanish. We went to the park this weekend, and he saw a younger boy playing by himself. He overheard him speaking Spanish to his mother. Brae approached him near the teeter totter and said, “Esta caliente, no?,” pointing to the teeter totter seat (It’s hot, isn’t it?). The boy nodded, and then looked to his mother, her mouth gaped open. I was so proud.

2) Brae is obsessed with basketball. Yup, still. He’s not content with our 8-foot basketball hoop in the driveway. He wants to go to the regulation-level basketball hoop down the street. He’ll be there, pj’s and barefoot, until the sun sets or until Dad drags him back into the house, kicking and screaming. This weekend, I took him to his basketball camp (normally Tygh takes him). As I sat on the bleachers, another mom came up to me and sat next to me. “You may not know this,” she says, “but your son is quite advanced with basketball.” No kidding.

WHAT’S YOUR NAME?

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Brae: “Mommy, what’s your name?
Me: “Britney.”
Brae: (stunned that I have a name) (long pause) “Daddy, what’s your name?”
Tygh: “Tygh.”
Brae: (stunned and puzzled) (another long pause) “What’s Sienna’s name?”
***
A conversation you never think you need to have with another human:
Me: “Brae, we don’t actually urinate in other people’s yards.”
***
And yet, another one:
Me: (noticing that Brae is digging mightily with his hand into his pants, into his underwear, and into his bum) “Brae, what are you doing?”
Brae: (wide-eyed) “Mommy, I have birds in there!”
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And now, some sobering statistics in honor of Mother’s Day that makes you grateful for the people in your life who are your mothers or you treat like your mothers, and for the kids in your life that are your children, or that you just baby like your children (and P.S., I come from a divorced family):

1. 98% of mothers and 90% of fathers hugged their children ages 0 to 2 years of age daily, compared to only 74% of mothers and 50% of fathers who hugged their children ages 10 to 12 years of age daily

2. In 2008, 67% of children ages 0–17 lived with two married parents, down from 77% in 1980

3. Parents in two-parent families spend an average of 2 hours a day interacting with their children compared to only 50 minutes for single-parent families.

4. Moms are getting older and more educated. In 2008, 14% of new moms were 35 or older, and 10% were in their teens. Those numbers were the exact opposite in 1990: There were more moms in their teens back then.

5. Almost 20% of children are cared for by stay-at-home dads.

6. Seventy-two percent of moms with kids over one year old work, which is about the same rate as childless women. In 1976, that rate was only 39%, indicating that working mothers are on the rise. In addition to working, women average 2.2 hours a day on chores each day, and 2.7 hours each day on primary childcare. Working outside the home typically means less depression for mothers, but research indicates that it’s only if moms let go of the idea of being “supermom.” Experts suggest that having it all is too much to shoot for. Instead moms should be satisfied with knowing that you can almost have it all.

7. The 2000 Census indicates that 5.7 million grandparents live with their grandchildren. These grandparents invariably play a role in raising their grandchildren, in whole or in part with the child’s parent(s). Of the grandparents living with grandchildren in 2000, 42% were responsible for them as a primary caregiver. Newer research indicates that as many as one in 10 children in the US lives with a grandparent, a figure that has risen sharply since the recession began in 2007.

8. Research indicates that children from divorced homes have more psychological problems than those who come from homes disrupted by death. This bothersome fact is made worse when you consider that half of all American children will witness their parents’ divorce, and of those children from divorced families, almost half of them will see a parent’s second marriage end in divorce as well. Children in divorced families are 50% more likely to develop health problems than two parent families, and are at greater risk of injury, asthma, headaches, and speech defects.

9. Percent of married women ages 15-44 that are infertile or have difficulty carrying to term : 11.8%.

10. 19% of parents in the United States have lost a child, any age, any cause.

Now go hug someone you love.