It’s strange, finding myself in this arc and not knowing where exactly I fall. At first, I thought that Joey and Cricket couldn’t be more different, couldn’t even see a resemblance between them; anyone who has seen pictures of the boys will know how pathetic this was. Then I realized that they looked and sounded quite a bit alike, but knew that they were otherwise nothing alike—their personalities and their tastes seemed like night and day to me. And now I can see Joey doing Cricket things, and while some of that is probably universal little kid behavior, not all of it is. I don’t think that most of it is. They still look somewhat different (Joey is startlingly pretty in a way that his brothers are not, although I think all three are cute kids, if Kit might need some time to grow into his ears. They’re his granddad’s ears, and his granddad grew into them beautifully), but they look like brothers, and (based on what I’ve seen when I’ve seen Cricket) they have any number of nonphysical things in common. And now we have less access to Cricket than we ever have before.
Ruth has taken Skype off the table; this time last year she was talking about when they would visit this year, and now she isn’t talking about visits at all. The Mister and I aren’t optimistic that a visit will happen. When we write, we don’t hear back. Joey is still a little young, but looking at him, I want to help him build a connection to his older brother now—and at the same time, I don’t, because I don’t want to set him up for hurt and disappointment. If I don’t hear back from the Emerald City, that’s lousy, but Joey isn’t able to understand why someone wouldn’t be totally enchanted by him, and I’m not ready to provide him with that kind of character development. It’s too sad, and he’s just a little dude. I still mention Cricket once in a while, and show Joey pictures less often than that, and Joey mostly ignores me. I am almost relieved.
Joey is changing my feelings for Cricket. I think about that faraway kid with more fondness, seeing him reflected in this littler kid whom I’m so crazy about; I miss him. Doors inside me are opening; doors up north are closing. Watching the relationship evolve is just sad and sad. But we’ll keep pushing letters under the door.