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Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Proud of E's name being mentioned in the Post-Dispatch for their "A" Student program. He gets two free Cardinals tickets. Good job E.

Click here to see story about my stepson Jason and his frat at USC.

Most of you know who Brian is, some of you know the story about how we met, but not everyone knows what is going on his life. So...

Brian is Eric's "big brother" through the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program. The two of them were not matched in the conventional way, which is to complete the paperwork, go through interviews and be on a two-year waiting list. I sort of, um...well, I met him in a bar. We were at a happy hour birthday get-together for a mutual friend of a friend. We ended up talking, and he told me how he was on the board of the Big Brothers program and that he had his second "little brother" at that time who was 14. I was dating Larry at the time, but I thought what a neat guy, and they're hard to come by. So I thought 'there's just got to be someone I can set him up with.' He told me he was single, so I got his phone number and told him I would try to set him up with someone. I did that, and they went to a concert or something, but it was not a love connection. And that was that.

A year later I found his phone number in a drawer. Larry and I were not dating at the time. I KNOW what you're thinking, but I was not interested in a date (that was the last thing I needed). I did, however, feel that Eric, who was 7 then, needed a male figure in his life. I called Brian up and asked him if there was any possible way he would consider taking on Eric as his "little brother." And Brian - as a testament to how seriously he took such a commitment - said, "Let me think about it and I'll call you back." He already had one "little." His name was Matt and he was 15. Most people don't have the time (and money!) to take on two boys. They are expected to meet with the kids between 1-4 times a month and to call in between and really connect with them. It's a HUGE commitment.

Brian called me back a day or two later and agreed to take on Eric. Since Matt was 15 and wanted to hang out with his friends more and was kind of outgrowing the program a bit, he would have time to spend with Eric. We did go through the Big Brothers protocol of paperwork and interview to make it "official," but of course we bypassed the matching part because we matched ourselves :)

And boy what a match it has been. Three words to describe their common interest? SPORTS, SPORTS, SPORTS

For awhile the three of them - Matt, Eric and Brian - did things together. Then Matt turned 16, got his license, got a girlfriend and, well, you know how that goes.

Here is Eric (age 7) and Brian on their first outing.

So that's the story of how Brian came into our lives.

And he has stayed a part our lives because of the kind of person he is.

He has been a constant, not only in Eric's life but in mine as well. He has seen the ups and downs of mine and Larry's relationship (moving in, moving out, getting engaged, breaking up). He was sad when I told him at one point that Eric and I were going to move back to California. There was even a time when he said it would be best for everybody if he stepped back and let Larry become more of a father figure to Eric. It didn't take long before I called him and told him we needed him back in our lives. And he was there. He went through a lot with us, and I'm glad he did. We needed him. Both of us. All of us!

People were always curious about my relationship with Brian. They would always ask why I didn't hook up with him myself (when Larry and I were in our "off" mode). Even 7-year-old Eric said, "Mom, why don't you just marry him?!" (as if liking sports is enough reason to marry someone). It's very simple, and I think Brian agrees. There was never a love connection between us. For one thing, Brian was very professional about his Big Brothers comittment. He would never cross the line like that. Also, Larry and I were still very connected even when we were broken up. But seriously, Brian and I have always had such a huge respect for each other and loved our friendship so much that we never wanted to risk losing that. So there's that story.

And now? He's part of our family. He goes to all of Eric's games. I can't tell you how many times people thought he was my husband. (Ask Brian. We're used to it now.) Admittedly, I did not marry a sports addict (I think you can only have one per family). Larry comes to games when he can, but Brian is always there. He's gone to football banquets and basketball get-togethers, he's watched basketball tryouts and gone to I don't know how many football, baseball, basketball and even soccer games when Eric was little. Soccer is not his favorite sport, but he still went. :)

What else?
He's gone golfing with my dad.
He's had dinner with my family when they've come here from California.
He's driven my mom to the airport.
He comes to all of our SuperBowl and NCAA parties at our house.
Eric and I have spent Memorial Day with his family at their house on the lake.
We've gone to his house to watch the World Series or a big football game.
He was at our wedding last year.

You get it. He's part of our family. The best part about it is my husband's understanding and acceptance and his welcoming of Brian into our family. He knows that I am obsessed with sports. He knows that Brian loves sports (I'll let him admit the obsession level...I don't know). And he is perfectly fine with me going to some random high school basketball or football championship game with Brian and Eric even though we don't know anyone who is playing in it. Just because we love sports. I'm so lucky. I'm so blessed that I have them both...a husband I love and adore, and a friend for life.

The big news in Brian's life? He's getting married in August! And Eric will be part of his wedding. I'm excited to add another member to our family. All I can say is, I hope she likes sports. If she doesn't...

Well, we'll just have to teach her.

Her name is Marlys and she is from Columbia, South America. Brian goes there a lot to see her. I know because that's the only time he misses Eric's games. I forgive him though (ha!) He deserves to find that special someone. He has so many special qualities and so much to give. And there's one thing Marlys can be sure of...

He'll always be there.

And so will we.

Love you guys!

Here is Brian and Eric last year (age 14), but I need a recent pic because Eric is about 6 inches taller than Brian now :)

A cute dog joke:


I pulled into the crowded parking lot at the Super WalMart Shopping Center and rolled down the car windows to make sure my Golden Retriever pup had fresh air... She was stretched full-out on the back seat and I wanted to impress upon her that she must remain there. I walked to the curb backward, pointing my finger at the car and saying emphatically, "Now you stay. Do you hear me?" "Stay...Stay..."

The driver of a nearby car, a pretty blonde young lady,
gave me a strange look and said,"Why don't you just put it in 'PARK?'"

Here is Eric's b-ball schedule for the tournament this weekend:

Friday at 7:45 PM

Saturday at 11:30 AM

Saturday at 4:30 PM

Click here for address and directions to Sports Center in Affton


Kaminski Family said...

love love love this. Thank God for a few good men!!


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