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The tidal shift is coming. Will we be ready?

At Tio’s counseling session yesterday we talked about the changes my going through cancer treatment would have on our family and him in particular. We’re fixing up the last ‘spare’ room in the house for my convalescence so that I can be upstairs and stay out of the mainstream of hubbub around the house. Everyone feels it will be less disruptive than my being in the middle of things where Grammo would have to shoo noisy kids off and I’d need to be extra careful to keep my distance from germs and so forth.

But will it? It will certainly be less disruptive for me. But the family in general? I don’t know. The counselor pointed out that since I’ve been the main caregiver for the past two years, kept the peace, smoothed problems, made the big decisions and moved the family forward, removing me suddenly from that role will leave a big hole in the organization. And, as Thoreau said so aptly, nature abhors a vacuum.

Buddy, and his relationship with the kids right now, is better than ever before but I still run a fair amount of interference. The kids still have serious unresolved trust and anger issues so when he’s in charge the moods swing from brat to wurst. They’ll smell his hesitations and pounce on his weak spots like hyenas on wounded prey. Emotions will run high while they vie for his attention. Grammo is stronger but her patience these days is shorter than mine. Add on to that the fact that she’s worried sick about me, and they’re in for a rude awakening. There’ll be a new sheriff in town.

We talked about what that will mean to Tio but I don’t think it’s sunk in yet. He knows it’s time for him to do a bit of fast growing up so he can pitch in and help make life a bit easier and better around the house for everyone. If he can’t manage that, though, and behaves like the other boys (quarreling and demanding), he’ll get treated accordingly and that will only make things harder.

I don’t know if the new regime will be better or worse - but it will certainly be different and should make for some interesting blog entries.