reasoning away

january 2016
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John Russo (64 years), Regina Russo (62 years)

narrated by: John

Zeke has been my son-in-law for two and a half years now, and I’m still strong in my opinion that they aren’t a fit pair. Morgan is clearly out of his league, but they are married, and divorce is not an option at this point, so I try and make my peace.

The twins help with this. I never knew that I’d enjoy the role as Grandpa, as much as I do. Even when they are not in the best of spirits, it doesn’t make me angry like I’d be with Morgan at this age.

Zeke works until seven each evening, so Morgan makes the drive out once a week to visit for a few hours. Usually she helps Lewis with his homework, while catching up with us.

I don’t mind helping with the girls, while she occupies herself with Lewis. Regina and myself still can’t connect well with the boy, he takes after his father too much, I believe.

I missed out on much of Morgan’s childhood with my career demanding front and center of my life. It’s why we didn’t have more than one child, it didn’t seem right to have Regina working long hospital shifts, while I was over seas. Career has always been our motivation, making us a strong couple, but not necessarily balanced.

It would have been selfish of us to have a second child, when our focus was never on the home front. Plus with one, we were able to devote our free time into molding her into a strong, career-minded woman. But there are times that I’ve worried for Morgan being alone without a sibling when we are gone.

So when I slipped on ice on the back deck, and broke my leg, these thoughts came back to the front of my mind. I had to spend a few nights in the hospital, and some blood work was ran. I haven’t been to the doctors in two decades, and Regina always harps at me to get exams done, and this was her opportunity. Everything came back normal though, just as I knew it would.

Morgan came to visit regularly during the day while she was on her shift, and then in the evenings when she had a free moment. Zeke usually stayed home, but one of the nights, he got his Mom to watch the kids, and came down. It was in this moment, that I found my respect for Zeke, not because he had come down to annoy me while I was trapped in a hospital bed. No, it was her face when she laid her eyes on him. Relief, gratitude, love, deep emotions washed across her face, and I felt at peace that she wouldn’t be alone in this world after we were gone.

I tried passing this frame of mind onto Regina when she came in to visit later that night, but she was beyond exhausted and fell asleep before I could get into my revelation. She complained that she can’t sleep at home with me gone, and cooking dinner is worthless since all the food is wasted. I know her, she complains when she cares, Morgan doesn’t understand that about her Mother.

Being stuck in a hospital bed is the most helpless I’ve ever been, even with Morgan and Regina keeping me company, it was lonely. Luckily, Nurse Caroline was given charge of me, and her chipper spirits rubbed off on me.

She came to jailbreak me one night, and take a ride through the hospital. It was late, and it had begun to snow. She insisted, and I couldn’t disappoint her. She seemed like such a good kid, with a little boy at home, and she hedged around some issues in her marriage, which would made me sympathetic to her.

I’ve never been as relieved to go home, as I was this time though. Regina and Morgan immediately broke up work and school schedules into manageable time slots so that I wouldn’t be home alone. I insisted that I would be fine, but they weren’t’ even listening to me at this point, so I left them to it.

Morgan would push weird drinks on me, insisting that the protein would make my bones stronger and get me healed faster. I liked the idea of it, so while I protested, I drank it hoping it would work.

The positive of it all, was my granddaughters being over almost everyday.

During the quiet lulls, Morgan would play the piano to entertain us, and Vivienne really enjoyed banging on the keys. I suggested they give her lessons when she was a little older, and Morgan smiled, saying she just might. I remember when Morgan was learning to play, and was horrible in the beginning. I would take my evening jog during the lessons, but as she got better, it became one of my favorite things to listen to. Regina harped that Morgan was lazy and unfocused, but I never thought any such thing.

Morgan was kind enough to make dinner a few times, but her cooking is nothing to Regina’s. She even apologized at one time for burning the roast, and she never got dinner done on time. I always eat on a schedule, but tried to let my annoyance fall to the side. Knowing full well she didn’t have to subject herself to my company.

Dinnertime isn’t always such a pleasure, even with Zeke and Lewis not in presence, Regina can’t help but harp about something. Since the twins were born, she’s constantly telling Morgan how she should put them to bed, or discipline them.

Morgan usually changes the subject, recently it’s about me and my leg. It works generally, Regina has been shaken by my fall. It seems to stand for a change in our lives, where we are falling apart clearly, where a fall before might have been a bruise and sore back side, and now it’s a cast.

Regina is constantly harping at me about the way I’m sitting, or how to wrap my cast for a shower, to how I need more vegetables.

I try to do as Morgan to change the focus, but fail, when I mention that she could use a few more vegetables, and a little less sweets. I don’t get why she exploded, but she has put on a significant amount of weight, and even had to buy a new wardrobe, which means that this isn’t a secret.

Apparently she complained to Morgan about me saying something about her weight gain. I’ve always felt that overweight people are often lazy, and as Regina is a doctor, felt she should take more care with her appearance.

Morgan then told me about the entire conversation. She’s never been close with me, let alone in this sort of circumstance. I rather enjoyed it, and promised to apologize to Regina to make Morgan feel better about the situation.

It all seemed to work out, I apologized, and when Morgan came over for lunch on the weekend, everyone got along. Regina even seemed happy while she helped out with the twins.

While I hate being in a cast, I have found the positive to spending more time with my family. We’ve all been busy doing our own thing all these years, even Regina and myself, and seeing my wife and daughter on a regular basis has been a nice bonus.


Notes: Look at these twins! Don’t they look like they are conspiring to get into the sugar or something else equally mischievous? I absolutely adore these two.

John got the ROS to have a broken leg, with two doctors in the family, there was no way he wouldn’t get a fair share of medical advice and doting.

A little outtake, I had Caroline go into his room, and talk with Morgan and Zeke. Morgan looks genuinely concerned, Zeke’s eyes are lit up with excitement, and Caroline is talking about death. I don’t think Zeke would be too upset if John passed on.

Regina and John are not friends with Morgan, which I think is fitting. I don’t see them as “friends” but “parents” and not crossing that line.

Thanks for reading!

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12 thoughts on “reasoning away

  1. Regina and John are such hard asses! I know that deep down they care and it is simply their way but I would have gone crazy growing up with them as parents! Poor Lewis, it must be hell being in a place where you feel unwanted. Which is how I’m sure he feels given that these two give off serious “I don’t care for you” vibes lol. It’s a nice departure from the normal family dynamic but my heart really goes out to Lewis and Zeke. This reminds me of my newest tattoo: “Love Endures All Things”

    1. Thanks Jennifer for reading! I would have gone crazy with them for parents, I had a friend who had a family like this. They still are, even though we are all grown, but they spoil more than John and Regina would ever dream.

      Lewis seems to be a kid always lost in his own mind, I’m not sure if he really pays attention to his step-grandparents too much. He’s always thinking about science/bugs, and rolling knowledge rolls. He’s definitely a knowledge kid. Zeke knows of course, I think it’s why he had the fear of getting engaged, knowing what he was signing up for!

      Your new tattoo is great, it’s a wonderful philosophy.

  2. I like how John’s broken leg has brought the family a little bit closer.
    And I adore those pictures with the twins, I especiatlly LOVE the one where Morgan is playing the piano and Vivienne is sitting there, playing along!

    I have to ask, where did you get those toddler chairs? I love them!

    1. Thanks for reading Tanja! I will check the next time I boot up my game, I’ve had the little booster seats for ages, Cara used them with Rachael. So it’s not on the tip of my tongue at all! They use the textures of other highchairs, which is nice (but shows I really need to download some more textures.)

      When I rolled the ROS, I thought that John would be driving everyone crazy, but he actually was mellow, and didn’t flip out when Morgan burned the food. Morgan herself flipped out about it.

    1. Thanks Starr! John’s policy is honesty, and likely forgets that there are somethings you aren’t supposed to say. But he’s a fitness/exercise/military guru, and an overweight, doctor for a wife would likely bother him to some extent. He’d think it’d bother her too, clearly it doesn’t.

  3. I’m so glad that John can see how much Morgan loves Zeke and that he’s pleased she has somebody. I think that’s a big deal for him. He seems like the type who would always be standoffish, just because Zeke is “below his station”. It’s nice to see him enjoying his family so much. I love that it all started with a broken leg.

    Cicely and Vivienne are going to be such troublemakers when they’re older! And they’re cute enough to get away with it too.

    LOL at that last picture! It’s just a broken leg though, Zeke, so you can temper your excitement a little bit!

    1. Thanks Carla, I think at the end of it all, the only way John would ever accept Zeke, is by allowing the simple fact that he cares very much for his daughter, and she for him. He wouldn’t want to hurt Morgan or his sweet granddaughters. Him and Regina are rolling tons of wants for them, and the twins roll them for their grandparents! I love that!! Poor Kenzie, she’s not getting any limelight with the twin’s wants panels.

      The last picture cracked me up too, I’m like, “Umm she’s a nurse, really, you’re going to believe her assessment?” I don’t have any elder deaths from old age until 2021 (it’s 2016 atm)… so he should really temper down, and that’s not even when John/Regina are going to kick it.

  4. John and Regina are really tough on poor Zeke! At least John can appreciate how much Morgan loves Zeke. But it must be very awkward for Zeke and Lewis. It’s sweet how much John and Regina like to dote on the twins, but it must make poor Lewis feel left out. Maybe as they all get older, John and Regina will be more accepting of their son-in-law and step-grandson.

    1. Thanks Sarah! I think Regina and John are too sweet with the twins, they roll wants for them constantly, and the twins are always rolling wants to sing nursery rhymes with their grandparents. I hope that as time goes on they can all be at least civil, if not a little welcoming with one another.

  5. The hard criticism reminds me of my own parents. Even more so because of the generational, cultural, and gender gap. They were always harping about something I was or wasn’t doing. Oh, parents! What a strange species they are.

    I do love seeing grandparents with their grandchildren. For all their faults, they always seem to sincerely try harder when grandbabies come around.

    1. Thanks for reading Choco! They do genuinely care about their granddaughters. I do believe the granddaughters is what softened me up to these two, and what is helping the relationships around the table.

      Parents come in all different types, mine weren’t overly critical, my Dad is pretty opinionated though and never thinks to keep them to himself.

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