It’s been quite a while since I wrote in my blog, but it feels like it’s time to begin again. Unlike many times when I felt the need to keep people in the loop with my life (having friends and family all over the world and only so much time to spend on the phone), I am writing this “My Life as Onkel” (German for Uncle) series for the additional reasoning of the therapeutic nature of getting my thoughts down on paper.
So, here goes.
The Long and Short of It:
In short, Christmastime of 2009, our lives in the Stone household were turned upside-down with the semi-temporary addition of two children to our household. I won’t go into too great of detail surrounding the reasoning for this – suffice it to say, it is a family matter that is still being dealt with and I will be treating it with the sensitivity that it deserves when it comes to a public forum.
Disregarding the reasoning, here is the result: Mickey and I are now taking care of two of her sister’s children (the third is staying with Mickey’s father and stepmother) in addition to our own young lad.
So, our family now consists of (will be using first initials to keep a little bit of anonymity for those under-age):
“C” – 10 years old, Mickey’s boy and my stepson.
“J” – 9 years old, my newly acquired nephew.
“I” – 2 years old, my other newly acquired nephew.
The really complicated part:
“I” is a really fantastic toddler, but he is also a special-needs kid. He was born with gastroschisis – an abdominal wall defect that allows the intestines to develop outside of the body while in the womb. The first year he was born was really rough – countless surgeries, infections, and complications, but he has maintained good spirits and strong resolve throughout. He just turned two and his care, while not simple, is at least stable.
He is fed through a tube that connects to a little port in his stomach, so the formula actually goes straight to the source in a regulated, controlled manner. A machine allows this feed to occur once every two hours and aside from that, it’s a steady routine of antibiotics and other medications.
My Life as Onkel
I’ve never been a father, myself… by that, I mean that I’ve never biologically had a child of my own. Prior to four years ago, I had never had any real experience as a dad at all. That all changed when I married Mickey and became the primary male caretaker for “C”, who was six at the time. It took some time for us to really bond, but I truly do think of him as my own son and treat him as such every minute of every day. As difficult as it was for me to transition from single bachelor to married father of a young man in the flash of a moment, I did get accustomed to it and I feel I’m a better man for it.
Now, it’s happened again times two. Not only that, but I never had any experience being the caretaker of a toddler before. So I now find myself in a semi-decent Tom Selleck movie. Unfortunately, it’s not “Quigley Down Under.” That’d be awesome.
More to follow as free time allows.