christmas has passed once more.

normally i spend my time musing on spiritual things, like "lighting shining in the darkness" and how "the word became flesh" and such things.

this year was more... corporeal. spent doing dishes. washing loads of laundry. cooking. going up and down and down and up flights of stairs. cleaning toilets. scrubbing walls. vacuuming. moving mattresses.
then carrying children. entertaining children. making sure children don't hurt themselves. picking up after children. things of such ilk. (i don't have children. they're not mine. but you'd think they're mine when they're here)

when my sister came with her 3 children and husband.. it was announced that morning that he woke up with a cold.
and he proceeded to sleep and loaf on the couch in the living room all day long, only getting up for food (which he had someone else prepare for him, usually my sister.. saying he didn't want to touch things with his infected hands) or a drink. oh, he helped himself to the jack daniels.

he barely paid attention to anyone.

he acted like he was sick and dying. slept on the couch.

he did say thanks for the food once. and did thank me today as i dressed his boys as they were trying to get out the door sooner rather than later.

but like. most of his time here. he says next to nothing.

at my gram's house yesterday, he struck up a conversation with my brother who works in the same field as him.
definitely more report than rapport.

but like...

they got home around 5pm today. and around 8pm he posts a picture of him and the 4yr old. building legos together. legos that were opened on christmas here.
big smile saying something about the great feeling of teaching your kid how to build legos.

last night, i was struggling. trying to play Clue with my niece who is 11, and fend off my 4 year old nephew who wanted to play too, but has too much energy to sit still, and not enough age to understand how to play Clue.
he was being wild. you know - how kids act when they want attention from you and don't know any appropriate behaviors. he was flipping the game pieces around. or snatching them. coming up and saying all kinds of things. even giving his sister a kiss because he really wanted to be included or paid attention and had given up being "pesty".
i finally settled with him sitting in my chair, while i stood, and he would throw the dice for me, pick up cards for me, and so on - while i peeled apples and tangerines (the kids were hungry too).
but before the solution came to me, while he was being bad, i called in to the living room to my sister and her husband that H was bored and wanted someone to play with him. that he wasn't quite old enough to know how to play. and Clue isn't a game where i could help him play, because i can't see his cards without ruining the game.
they heard me.
but they did nothing.
they just watched the movie that was on tv.

and here mr. brother in law is, hours after arriving home (a 5+ hr drive).. with a huge smile saying that playing legos with his son is a great feeling.

normally. when i see pictures that make me angry inside - i scroll past and don't comment or anything. let it go.
but mom had to bring it up.
"you know he did nothing the entire time he was here and acted so sick, but here he is smiling."

i try not to think bad things. but when mom reads into the things i let go...
it confirms in my mind the bad things i try not to think.