Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Brothers Who Are Sisters

When you are the only girl in the family, it can be tough. Girls tend to be the ones who have to handle everything important when it comes to your parents. The good and the bad. That's why when I had kids I made sure I had two girls 18 months apart. So when shit got real, they'd have each other.

Like I said, this tends to be the case. But not in my family. When I got married I should have had my brothers as my bridesmaids, but then again, who would have walked me down the aisle?  They are more like sisters to me than an actual sister could ever be. We've been through a lot together and I wouldn't change it for the world.

I'll start with Juan. Juan takes care of business. When our parents died he handled everything and let Dat and I drink ourselves sober on a nightly basis. Usually with Dat wearing our mom's full length fur coat. He's the first-born and he takes that birth-order seriously. He has always taken care of us and puts everyone else first. It's awesome.

Did I mention how funny he is? A few years ago I was starting a new job at a new school. It was in a questionable area of the city, where Juan happens to work as a policeman. Juan said he'd be there in the morning to make sure I got in ok. I thought jeez Juan, not necessary, but appreciated. Starting a new job in a new school is always nerve-racking. You know, what's the protocol for the teacher's lounge refrigerator? Which bathroom doors have locks that work? Where's the best place to hide out and check Facebook? All the most important things teachers care about. (You know what I'm talking about Rahm). Anyway, the point is, I was nervous. So when I saw Juan, I was relieved to see a familiar face. For about 3 seconds. I pull into the parking lot, full of teachers and students and parents, and Juan follows me. My first thought was, wow that Juan takes his job as big bro seriously. Until, to my horror, I saw the lights and heard the sirens. Then his voice over the loud speaker. "Attention please, if everyone could take a minute to welcome your newest counselor..." and that's where I blacked out. I was mortified. But Juan was in his glory. Rambling on, as Juan tends to do, over the loud speaker. I can honestly say I have never seen him happier. And I was at the hospital the day his kids were born. So I get out of my car and go over to personally thank Juan and he says, that's for the joke you played on me on my 21st birthday. That was fifteen years ago. Whoa. Someone holds a grudge. But well-played Juan.

Now for Dat. Dat and I got into a lot of trouble together and definitely could be to blame for our mother's premature death. My mom kept a ledger of all the money we owed her and when she died the first thing Dat said was, does this mean we don't have to pay all that money back? And that's exactly what it meant. We all like to see the bright side of things. Dat also has kids. Same age as mine and we live very close to one another. Dat is Mr. Mom. He works nights and his wife works days, so Dat has been doing the daily routine since the beginning. And he's good at it. He is the best mom I know. Like a pintrest mom, except he doesn't know how to work a computer. He handles the carpool schedule every week and takes his job seriously. He checks in with us every Sunday, we tell him the days that work for us and he organizes everything and sends us a text with our assignments. It's awesome. Until you screw it up. Like today. I'm still shaken by the experience. I got all my kids up and out in a timely manner, showered and with my face on, because I'm a grown ass woman and I don't wear pajamas to carpool. As I'm thinking about what a great organized mom I am, my cell phone rings. It's Dat.
Dat: Um, where are you?
Me: I'm across the street, psycho. I'm picking up here and I'll be there in a minute to get your kids.
Dat: Why aren't you at home? I'm in your driveway.
Now I'm confused and panic is setting in.
Me: Is it not my day to drive? I thought it was my day to drive. No?
My head is scrambling. I'm not even sure what day today is.
Dat: Why would I be in your driveway if it was your day to drive???
Me: I don't know. I'm so sorry. I thought I was driving today. Do you want me to come there and get the kids from you?
Dat: Stay where you are. Don't move. I'll be there in 2 minutes.
Yikes. So I hurry up and explain to my kids to get out of the car because Uncle Dat is coming to get them. There are lots of questions. But I can't answer them. There's no time! Just get out. Get your bags and get out. My kids know Uncle Dat don't play. So out they go. Waiting in the street for Uncle Dat to save the day.

A second later, I get the carpool schedule text he sent on Sunday, again. I'm driving Friday.

*Update, after letting Dat read this before I published it, he suggested I end that last sentence with a question mark.

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