It’s Not About Blood, It’s About the Important Stuff

I grew up next to an Indian reservation. Seriously, our next door neighbors land was considered reservation land. The community I grew up in consisted mainly of Oneida Indians and I was constantly immersed in their culture and learning about their history.

Even though I was born here, my parents were not. They grew up in small towns in southwestern Wisconsin. After my Dad earned a degree in Civil Engineering, he moved my Mom and sister to northeastern Wisconsin where he landed a job designing bridges and highways for the state.

We weren’t exactly welcomed into the community with open arms at first. Even though our land wasn’t zoned as reservation, our neighbors didn’t believe that white people should be living on it. They didn’t let their daughter play with me but she and I found a way around this. We would meet at the barb wire fence that divided our land and we would sit across from each other and talk through the wire barrier. Her parent’s ill feelings toward our family must have waned in later years as I remember her coming over and roller skating on my driveway with me from time to time.

The neighbor's horses were always getting into our yard. My Dad having grew up on a farm rebuilt their barb wire fence for them

The neighbor’s horses were always getting into our yard. My Dad having grew up on a farm rebuilt their barb wire fence for them

During the summers when I was 4 and 5 years old I attended summer school at the community building. I wasn’t actually supposed to be able to attend as I wasn’t Oneida Indian but they let me anyway. I’m sure there were craft projects and games but the thing I remember most was the time slotted for learning the Oneida language. Most of what I learned has since been forgotten but I can still count to 10 in the language.

When I was 4 years old my Mom began working at the local nursing home. On her days off she would bring me there so I could visit with the residents. Many of them became my good friends and they told me such great stories. Unfortunately, I don’t remember any of their tales but I know even as a small child I was entranced by their history and what they shared with me. A lively old coot taught me how to swear in the Oneida language. I remember one of the sayings perfectly “Get-Get-Oh-Dah” which in family friendly terms means “chicken poop.” I guess my memory really only remembers the “really important stuff.”

My Mom and I began attending the local church when I was 7 years old. It was a small church and there were only a handful of people who attended that weren’t Oneida Indian. Every week we sang a few hymns that usually consisted of “Old Rugged Cross” and “He Has the Whole World in His Hands,” but then there was an allotted time devoted to singing three Oneida hymns that were sang in their language. They would hand out the booklets of the songs and even though they were in a language not our own it was pretty easy to sing along. The words mainly consisted of syllables but when you strung them all together it was pure magic. Every week I couldn’t wait to hear this beautiful music sung in words that I didn’t know the meaning of but could still understand that they had powerful message to them. There were two men who sat in the back that had deep bass voices that would do the underlying chants to the songs that reverberated through that small church and created a spectacular sound.

I’ve seen many powwows in my day. The community puts one on every year. Of course there is the delicious food offered at these events consisting of fry bread, Indian tacos and buffalo meat but then there is the actual dancing. The people get dressed up in the costumes that their ancestors would have worn hundreds of years ago, form a large circle and begin shaking their body and lifting their knees in a way that propels them forward slowly in an enchanting way. This mesmerizing dance is coincided with chanting. I have practiced this dance and the chants so many times in the privacy of my own home that I think if they ever needed a fill-in I would be a shoo- in.

The Oneida Indians getting ready to perform at the last Packer game we went to

The Oneida Indians getting ready to perform at the last Packer game we went to

My personal heritage is German and Norwegian but I grew up surrounded by the Oneida Indian culture. I know just as much about their history as I do of my ancestors’ backgrounds. I may not have Oneida blood in me but I know how to swear in their language and that is the “really important stuff.”

This Grand Adventure

When I became pregnant with my first child, my husband and I fully intended to submerse our children into our world and our lifestyle. Before I had children I loved to travel, hike, go to concerts, attend estate sales and create art.

I imagined a life of going to a Jack Johnson concert with a baby strapped to my chest as my husband and I sang along to Bubble Toes. I pictured us traveling around the world stopping in at cafes to give the babies biscuits and croissants. I knew there would be long hikes with a kid strapped to my husband’s back as we crossed streams and climbed over rocks. And there was no doubt in my mind that the kids and I would spend long Saturdays going from estate sale to estate sale buying used furniture that we could go home and sit together and refurbish.

Me hiking through the mesa in Albuquerque, NM

Me hiking through the mesa in Albuquerque, NM

Me hiking the Jemez Mountain...notice my shirt is wet in really great places...I had just got done swimming in hot springs

Me hiking the Jemez Mountains…notice my shirt is wet in really great places…I had just got done swimming in hot springs

Our dreams were quickly dashed when our new darling arrived and immediately hated car rides. Instead of being a soothing experience that put her into a calm trance she screamed like a banshee. As soon as you strapped her into that car seat she acted like a holy terror and there was nothing you could do to get her to stop. A drive across town with her felt like an eternity so our plans of going to a music festival 3 hours away were certainly not in the cards.

An Eric Clapton concert my husband and I went to before kids

An Eric Clapton concert my husband and I went to before kids

We had front row seats at a Keb' Mo concert

We had front row seats at a Keb’ Mo concert

My husband and I at a Dave Matthews concert

My husband and I at a Dave Matthews concert

I however did tote my new baby along to estate sales. She rested comfortably strapped to the front of my chest. In recent years she has become somewhat of a minor celebrity at these gigs because she has been coming with me for so long. However, these were never all day endeavors. We could only go to one and then be home for nap time. The people at these things don’t even know I have three kids because there is no way I would bring 2 rambunctious boys to a house filled with expensive breakables. They are too much of a liability.

I did take my kids hiking once by myself. My daughter was 4 years old and my middle son was 2 years old. There is a great wooded area with paths not too far from our house. I loaded them up and gave them each a plastic bag to collect treasures and told them we were going on a grand adventure. It seemed to be going very well and then about an hour into our hike with no other people in sight my son fell. No, he didn’t trip and skin his knee. He fell down an embankment. A four and a half foot drop covered by plant growth. My daughter and I couldn’t even see him but we sure could hear his screams. My daughter immediately began screaming at the top of her lungs, “My brother’s dead! My brother’s dead!” I jumped down to save my son and got him hoisted back up to safety. He was fine besides a few scratches. The true problem came in when I needed to get out. Since I am only 5 feet tall I couldn’t just lift myself out of this ditch. It was a straight shot down and there was nothing to hold onto or dig my feet into. I struggled and struggled to get out. Both kids were trying to pull me by my hands which of course were no help. I’m still not quite sure how I got out of there but somehow I manage to get my leg swung over and kind of launched myself out. Needless to say we immediately headed back to the car and have not been back there since.

The kids all ready to start their grand hiking adventure

The kids all ready to start their grand hiking adventure

The embankment my son fell down

The embankment my son fell down

In the past 7 ½ years of being a parent we have not traveled internationally, we have hiked once, the only concerts we have been to are the ones my children perform in at school, we do not go to estate sales as a family and most of the art we create includes paper and glitter.

I have been submersed into the life of my children. The life of playgrounds, naps, goldfish crackers, play-doh and crayons is really not that bad and it is incredibly safer.  The only embankments I have had to try to climb out of are the stacks of dirty laundry and dishes and clearly that that is just a metaphor. A metaphor never hurt anybody.  Plus this life with kids is a grand adventure!

Please Pass the Dirt Flavored Broccoli

Manufacturers have come up with ways to artificially flavor medicine so that children will gladly consume it. Yet, in this 21st century we are still struggling to get our kids to eat their vegetables. Therefore, I have compiled a few ideas that if manufacturers were to use to artificially flavor vegetables, I know that kids would gobble them right up:

Dirt Flavored Broccoli

Dirt Flavored Broccoli

Cat Food Flavored Spinach

Cat Food Flavored Spinach

Bug Flavored Beets

Bug Flavored Beets

Booger Flavored Cauliflower

Booger Flavored Cauliflower

2 Month Old Cheerio Stuck in Couch Cushion Flavored Carrots

2 Month Old Cheerio Stuck in Couch Cushion Flavored Carrots

Pre-chewed Gum Stuck to Underside of Restaurant Table Flavored Brussel Sprouts

Pre-chewed Gum Stuck to Underside of Restaurant Table Flavored Brussel Sprouts

With these exciting new flavors available, your children will soon be saying, “More vegetables please!”






Eyes and Mind Wide Open

Children see the world in a different light. Their eyes and mind are more open than adults.

Yet, even though I am aware of this, my 5 year old son, Bency never ceases to amaze me with his observations.

It all started when he was a toddler and able to communicate. He would point out simple things like the canisters on the kitchen cupboard were slightly askew. He has always been enamored with color and by the time he was 2 years old he knew the difference between purple and indigo. His speed at doing jigsaw puzzles has always astounded me. He barely glances at a piece and immediately knows where it goes. As he has grown older the number and depth of his observations has grown.

Bency loves doing science experiments

Bency loves doing science experiments

Bency does not have a huge interest in reading books and yet night after night I sit down with him and we work on his reading skills. He will be reading out loud and then come to an abrupt stop. I will be sitting there thinking he is stumped on a word and waiting for him to figure it out. Instead, out of his mouth comes, “Mom, did you ever notice how the little “i” looks like a lit candle? Look at the page Mom; it looks like hundreds of candles shining in the story.” He often studies the pictures and sometimes disagrees with the illustrators. He feels that the right smile wasn’t captured, “Mom, don’t you think Betsy’s smile should be bigger since she just received an ice cream cone?”

It was no surprise to me when the neighbor lady came over this Fall after Bency had just been to her house for a visit and said, “I painted my living room 2 weeks ago. It was Off-White before and I painted it Eggshell White. Bency marched in, put his hands on his hips, looked around and said “I like what you’ve done with the place. The new color looks great.” I nodded my head and said, “Yes, that’s how Bency is.”

This past Valentine’s Day, my Mom brought Bency a card she made herself. She hid words all over the card for him to find. As I was reading off the hidden words to him, he said, “I see the Letter “I.” I looked around the card and didn’t see it. He pointed it out to me. I had to hold the card 2 inches from my face and look at it for a long time until I finally saw it. My Mom had to bring it over to the lamp and hold it under the bright light until she finally found it. It was merely how the brush stroke of the marker was colored on the paper. She did not intentionally make the letter “I.”

Can you see the I?

Can you see the I?

It comes as no shock that Bency received the comment “Great little observer!” on his report card or 4 different comments about “Too much talking.” This is how Bency is made up. There is so much in this world that he sees and he wants to share it with everyone!

Report Card

How wonderful it would be to be a kid again and really see the world with your eyes and mind wide open.

You’re Not Fat; You’re Comfy

Last Thursday I received this Valentine card from my 5 year son:

Front of Valentine

Front of Valentine

Inside of Valentine

Inside of Valentine

It’s hard to read because he wrote with pencil on red construction paper so I will tell you what it says:

Der Mom and Dad

Yu are swet and comphe

I Lov Yue


Dear Mom and Dad

You are sweet and comfy

I Love You

There are 3 reasons why I adore this card so much:

1. Our 2 year old made it into the family picture on the front read here to see why that is a huge accomplishment

2. He spelled comfy as “comphe.” The other night when we were reading together, he pronounced the word phone as “pee-honey.” I explained that the “ph” makes the “f” sound. While I was explaining this, he was looking the other way and twirling a string hanging off of the blanket around his finger trying to make his finger turn purple. I clearly thought this lesson was lost on him… but apparently cutting off the circulation to his finger makes him a better listener.

3. When I questioned him about his use of the word comfy. He explained that it’s so nice to snuggle up next to me because I am so comfy. In other words, this is a nice way of saying “You’re overweight.” Instead of feeling bad for not having a toned stomach and thighs, I’m going to look at it in a whole new light. All that extra fat gives my kids a warm landing place to snuggle into!


Thick As Thieves

A few weeks ago, I saw my 7 year old daughter, Iris, and my 5 year old son, Bency walking up the driveway from their walk home from school. Iris was slightly bent over carrying something about the size of a newborn baby. After further inspection I realized it was a huge chunk of ice.

As they entered the house I inquired about the 15 lb. block that Iris deposited in our backyard. She said Bency found it on the sidewalk 2 blocks away and really wanted it, but he wasn’t strong enough to carry it home so she did it for him. She stated this with a bit of exasperation and an eye roll.

This little tidbit of information made my heart sing. I know that sounds crazy. Why would anyone be excited about a block of ice?

You see there was a time when I wasn’t sure how the relationship between Iris and Bency was going to play out. Iris could be very bossy and controlling. Take for example this conversation I overheard in 2009:

Iris: “Bency, what headband do you want to wear?”

Bency: “No, headband Iris.”

 Iris: (in an irritated, louder voice): “I SAID, WHAT HEADBAND DO YOU WANT TO WEAR?”

 Bency (in a forlorn voice): “The pink one Iris.”

Iris making Bency dress up in 2009

Iris making Bency dress up in 2009

Iris dressed Bency up for an adventure...she even made him wear her shoes

Iris dressed Bency up for an adventure…she even made him wear her shoes

Iris made Bency dress up like the Tooth Fairy

Iris made Bency dress up like the Tooth Fairy

I took this as a sign that Bency would forever bow down to his big sister and forever be sentenced to a life of playing tea party and dress up. Over time they have found their balance and it has been a relationship of give and take between the two. Bency no longer is submitted to dressing up like a girl and Iris indulges him by playing Super Heroes and dinosaurs. They are partners in crime and thick as thieves.

Iris & Bency summer 2012

Iris & Bency summer 2012

Last winter, Iris and Bency had the bathroom occupied for a long time applying temporary tattoos. Bency abruptly ran out and started heading upstairs. I asked where he was going and he said he was suddenly very tired and needed a nap (unheard of). Later I discovered a lower of three shelves holding towels in the bathroom was knocked down. I questioned both children and no one knew what happened but kept giving each other sideways glances. I then told them I would be reviewing the video footage from my secret spyware. Bency caved at this point, throwing his hands to his forehead shouting, “I confess, I confess. It was me.”

Why didn’t Iris give him up when she had the chance? Maybe she knew this was in her future:

A few months ago, the children had been playing in Bency’s room. A few days later I noticed the black wrought iron curtain rod bent down on one side that I’m sure could have only been caused by someone swinging or pulling on Bency’s cowboy printed curtain. When I asked Iris and Bency about this they tried to mask their guilt with a halfhearted attempt of disbelief and shock. I got nowhere with my continued questioning or little white lie of reviewing my secret spyware.

Later that night, my husband called the kids into the living room to ask them about the bent curtain rod. Both kids stood in front of him with their arms behind their backs and again claimed their innocence and tried their best to act appalled that anyone would possibly think it was one of them. As they stood there fumbling with their words and sweat starting to pop out on their brow; Bency put his arm down to his side and nudged Iris. Iris then grasped Bency’s hand and I saw Bency give her hand a squeeze and give her a look out of the corner of his eye.

My husband and I both witnessed this and we looked at each other with an amusing smile. I had to leave the room before I exploded with laughter and my husband dismissed them from the room.

Later than night, Iris came to us and admitted it had been her and that she was sorry she had pulled on the curtain.

We weren’t mad. In fact we were happy (we didn’t let her know that). It was amazing to see that show of support from Bency; that little squeeze of her hand to signal that he had her back and he wasn’t about to give her up for nothing.

Everyone needs someone in their life to give their hand a squeeze during hard times and to carry the load when things get too heavy. We all need someone to have our back. We all need a partner in crime.



There’s History in Those Love Letters Part III

I have been sharing the love letters that my Grandpa wrote my Grandma back when they were courting back in 1936. Today you are getting the third installment seeing as though it’s Valentine’s Day and what better day to see some expressions of true love!

I have had some inquiries as to whether or not there is any letters that my Grandma wrote my Grandpa and I am sad to say there isn’t. We found these letters after my Grandma passed away and were tucked in a dresser drawer. No one knew they existed before this.

Grandma Charlotte

Grandma Charlotte

To catch you up to speed; my Grandma and Grandpa grew up on neighboring farm houses so they knew each other since they were children. My Grandma went away to a nearby town for her senior year of high school. My Grandpa stayed at the farm house and taught school at a one room school house nearby. Many of his students were related in some way. My Grandpa’s Mom passed away a few months before he wrote these letters and he is currently living with his Dad and little sister. In the following letter my Grandpa makes mention of a hired girl. They hired someone to live at the house to do the cooking, cleaning and taking care of my Grandpa’s little sister. My Grandpa also talks about Ruby and Arthur which is my Grandma’s sister and her husband. I imagine my Grandpa saw them more than my Grandma because they were still living in the neighboring farm house. Another person mentioned in the letter is Bob which is my Grandma’s little brother. I suppose my Grandpa had to pick him up and bring him to school sometimes.

Grandpa Ed

Grandpa Ed

Enjoy another sweet and funny love letter from my dear old Grandpa:

March 30, 1936

Dearest Charlotte,

Is I ever blue, and this terrible snowing doesn’t help my feelings any. It sure is a gloomy day, and these restless kids almost drive me nuts.

I sure was glad I came up Sunday night. I sure did enjoy myself. The show was good and being with you took care of the rest of my desires.

Ruby and Arthur was up to the show Sunday night. I guess they saw us. Anyway they asked me how I liked the show. They went up with Bill & Irene.

I was down after Bob this morning. Your mother didn’t seem to have much to say for some reason. I hope she doesn’t give me a bawling out. I get too many of those anyway.

This week is going to be better than last for I know you are coming home this weekend.

Our new hired girl was there this morning. Gee I hate to see Ruby and Art leave, but I know they are glad to get away.

I got a note from Mrs. Crumerine so I suppose I shall have to go over there after school is out.

I suppose you are tired of reading this letter for I know it is not interesting at all. I am in such a hurry. I have missed 5th and 6th grade spelling now.

Write soon,

Love Eddie

P.S.  nite 10 bells

I didn’t get anywhere to mail this tonight so probably I will mail it tomorrow. It sure is a lovely evening except just a little cold. I just went outside (don’t ask what for) and did that moon look at me. Made me feel sorta (rumatic) I guess so I thought I would express myself but just can’t do it. Words fail me.

Lester has been kidding me tonight about you, but I don’t care I like it. In fact I like everything about you. Don’t forget I love you, and I think you are the sweetest darn kid. I have got to stop!



To read the previous letters:

There’s History in Those Love Letters Part I

There’s History in Those Love Letters Part II

Page 1

Page 1

Page 2

Page 2

Page 3

Page 3



Operation Smile

My sweet blogging friend over at Embracingtheinsanity recently did a post about the charity she and her 7 year old son started called Operation Smile.

It is a list of children who are battling illnesses and disease and can use some cheering up. All you have to do to participate is send these children a letter, card or some sort of mail. As we all know getting something in the mailbox can do wonders to lift your spirits.

I thought this was such a great idea and am thankful to her and her amazing 7 year old son for taking the initiative to start this and spread the word.

I knew my daughter would love doing this and then the thought occurred to me to incorporate it with my Girl Scout troop.

Yesterday I sat down with the girls in the troop and we talked about children who are sick and how we can make a difference. My girls were completely on board with this project and we sat down and set to work writing letters and drawing pictures to send to the children on the list. They all did an outstanding job and really put a lot of thought and effort into their letters!

My Girl Scout Troop writing letters for Operation Smile

My Girl Scout Troop writing letters for Operation Smile

I highly encourage others to do the same and spread some love!

Be sure to check out Embracingtheinsanity by clicking here to get all the details! Also check out their charity blog page that her and her son started called Mikey’s Helping Place to see all the great stuff they are doing!

I Apologize in Advance

My family and I are not fancy people. In fact we are the opposite of fancy….I guess that would be unfancy.

Our house is humble and our belongings meager but every night we gather round our dining room table for a hot meal and I wish I could tell you that we share special family time that resembles something straight out of a Norman Rockwell picture.

Unfortunately it resembles something more along the lines of a 3 ring circus.

I ring the dinner bell at 5:00 every night and usually serve up one of my famous casseroles. I give them names like “Melissa’s Surprise” or “Mama’s Jubilee.” I get groans and moans as everyone gets an eye of the collaboration I have come up with and the only surprise it includes is what vegetable I have sneaked in.  We commence the meal by filling our mismatched plates and then the true colors of our family come out.


Everyone begins talking over one another and the din of the room shakes the light fixture ever so slightly. There are elbows on the table and people are talking with their mouths full. I usually tell an inappropriate story like the other day when I told them the dentist said while performing my root canal that my tooth spewed out an oozy mess of blood and pus. This made my husband shake his head, cringe and say, “Really Melissa?” which then set off a laugh fest around the table. I always forget proper dinner story etiquette. By this point my 5 year old Bency has made an elaborate artistic creation out of peas and noodles, my 7 year old Iris has made a mess all over her face and the floor because she’s too busy talking to see that the food enters her mouth properly and over the plate and 2 year old Cesar is still in a fit of laughter over the story I told which he clearly didn’t understand while he wipes sauce through his hair.

This is our reality and the other night I looked around and really took it in. We are a mess of a family. A true disaster at proper table manners. And then a terrible thought crossed my mind….

I am constantly talking to my children about doing good deeds, helping others out and being a true benefit to society. The things we do as a family are on a small scale as far as contributing but what if one of us truly does something amazing someday? What if we do something so spectacular and heroic that it makes national news? What if the President of the United States wants to honor us by inviting us to dinner at the White House or The Queen of England wants to have us for tea?


After much pondering on this subject I have come to the conclusion that our chances of being invited to the White House are slim but if somehow this would happen I will simply write a note:

Dear Mr. President,

Thank you so much for inviting us into your lovely home and having us over for dinner. I apologize in advance for our poor table manners and crude sense of humor. We truly are nice people. I am also enclosing $500 to pay for the white linen table cloth I am most certain we will stain, all the milk we spill, the plate we break and the carpeting we will ruin. You may also need to dry clean your suit after you pee your pants from all the laughter or shock we create!


That really nice family with very poor table manners

I Created a Tiny Miracle

My 5 year old son, Bency is the middle child. He displays many of the stereotypes that go along with this label. Short of waving his arms in the air and saying “Hey, look at me. I’m still here! I need attention” he does everything in his power to gain the floor. It usually comes in the form of a loud volume to his voice. His soft volume setting quit working years ago.

When our third child, Cesar, was born, Bency was indifferent to the situation. He was 3 years old at the time and though he didn’t come right out and say he wasn’t crazy about the idea of having a new brother he pretty much just tried to ignore that fact that a new life had come to inhabit our home. The most interaction Bency had with newborn Cesar was when he used him for a hurdle when Cesar was having tummy time on the floor. Needless to say, I found this a bit dangerous and Cesar didn’t get much tummy time. I’m happy to report this didn’t have an effect on strengthening his neck muscles and Cesar is doing just fine holding his big head up.

In the hospital with 1 day old Cesar...clearly not crazy about his new brother

In the hospital with 1 day old Cesar…clearly not crazy about his new brother

When Cesar turned 6 months old and was able to sit up on his own and throw toys around, Bency thought he was a bit cooler and would sit and try to have a conversation with him while Cesar just smiled, gurgled and blew bubbles. Bency still found him slightly lame.

So, what do you want to do today?

So, what do you want to do today?

As Cesar entered the toddler stage, Bency no longer found him boring. He actually became a bit irritated with the fellow that followed him everywhere and destroyed all of his Lego creations. They just weren’t on the same level of playing field and Bency wasn’t about to reduce himself to playing with a shape sorter, stacking toy or toy xylophone.

As Bency started Kindergarten this year he began bringing home a lot of drawings and paintings of our family. Surprisingly, they are all void of one member. Yes, you guessed it. Cesar is not on one of the family pictures. When I ask Bency about it he explains that there was merely no more room for one more stick figure or he just plain ran out of time. Now, I am not a psychologist but I’m sure this means Bency is longing for the days when we were merely a family of four.

Where is Cesar??

Where is Cesar??

Now a few days ago when I was tucking Bency into bed for the night he informed me that he was going to leave his newest Lego house creation out on the floor instead of tearing it down and putting it away in the bucket because he wanted to continue working on it when he came home from school the next day. I thought this was a dandy idea seeing as though it resembled a miniature pyramid and was quite elaborate and I could clearly see he had spent quite a bit of time on it already.

With what you know about Bency’s feelings toward Cesar you can only imagine my distress and dismay when I discovered the next day that Cesar had sneaked into Bency’s room and destroyed this exquisite architecture.

I put Cesar down for his nap and set to work trying to recreate Bency’s masterpiece. After an hour I realized my attempts were futile. I have no idea how he made that pyramid and I gave up. I just kind of stacked them up in a haphazard display hoping Bency wouldn’t remember his exact floor plan.

Bency building with the big Legos when he was 4 years old. He uses the smaller ones now I forgot to take a picture of his creation or mine for that matter before they were tore down!

Bency building with the big Legos when he was 4 years old. He uses the smaller ones now. I forgot to take a picture of his newest creation or mine for that matter before they were tore down and I wasn’t about to build a new one for the sake of a picture!

When I spoke on the phone briefly with my husband that afternoon I told him what I had been doing. He cringed and commiserated with me as we envisioned the fallout of Cesar’s actions. We were almost certain Bency would want Cesar banned from the house altogether after this horrible act.

When Bency came home from school that day and went to put his coat away in his room I braced myself for the screaming, possibly hysterics, maybe even a fainting episode. I waited silently in the living room in a panic for what seemed like hours but was only mere minutes.

Much to my surprise, Bency came pouncing down the stairs in a delightful, excited mood and exclaimed, “Mom, Mom, you are not going to believe this! This is so amazing! You will just never believe this! Cesar can do Legos now! He made the coolest house today! He took apart my house and built another really good one! This is the best thing ever!”

A flood of relief washed over me and as the panic disappeared, elation filled my body. Somehow, I had created a tiny miracle. My simple attempt at building a Lego house may have solved all our problems.

Bency finally found his brother to be cool!

As a side note to this story, my 7 year old, Iris was suspicious of this and questioned, “Bency, how do you know that Dad or Mom didn’t build that?”

Bency said, “Dad was at work all day and Mom would never go in my room during the day and play Legos while I am at school.”

I guess only time will tell if Cesar makes it back into the family pictures or if they will grow up and be the best of friends but one thing I know for sure is we have this moment, this small victory and if it takes me moonlighting as a Lego extraordinaire to help strengthen their bond I will; but my guess is that it will happen anyway and these boys will grow up fused together by love.