BLESS YOU idk if you know this but I headcanon luztoye as the best hbo war parents ever. like…..ever, ever. I have lots of feelings about this, so buckle up.
who’s the one to wake up the kids:
JOE. George is a sleepy ball of confused fluff in the morning, so it falls to Joe to wake everyone up and get the household moving in the right direction.
who makes the breakfast:
also Joe. He stands at the stove in nothing but loose sweats, making eggs and french toast, knowing full well that as soon as George sees this display he’ll be wide awake and ready to help get the wee ones ready for school. (smh so diabolical joe)
who’s the one to cry for everything:
they both do. George clasps his hands close to his face and lets big shining tears roll down his face, and Joe just sort of stands behind him and lowkey tears up to the point he has to look away to keep from sobbing.
who’s the more disciplined parent and who’s the more lenient one:
I imagine it varies depending on the situation. sometimes happy-go-lucky George gets carried away and must be reeled back in, but other times, Joe ‘I’m a sucker for the puppy eyes’ is the one that needs to see reason, and the job falls to George who puts his foot down. (although it infuriates him that his role as the cool parent has been usurped)
who helps with the science fair:
George, simply because he’s not afraid to make a mess in the kitchen, and he knows that Joe is still self-conscious about his education. but Joe hovers in the background and gives lowkey advice when he sees them doing something not quite right. George just smiles smugly.
who does baby talk:
I had to think about this for 0.01 seconds bc honestly you cannot tell me that they don’t both sit around making embarrassing coochey coochey coo noises at their smiley lil babies. you just can’t.
who wakes up for midnight feedings:
I feel like it would be George. idk, like Joe is the morning shift guy, so George would probs take care of the kiddos at night. (imagine the messy floof as he sleepily feeds the baby a bottle, wowza)
who’s the one who always worries:
Joe. 100% the worrier of the family, constantly counting to make sure they have everyone, reminding them to eat their food, dialing 911 every time someone has a tummy ache.
who picks up the kids early from school for some fun:
George. Joe takes education seriously, and he can’t stand when George just shirks it in favor of a day off, but George knows that the kids are smart and going places, but they also need time to be kids.
who’s the competitive parent:
gotta be Joe…. George likes a good competition, but he’s more in it for the laughs. Joe is in it to WIN IT.
who kisses the ouches:
I feel like this would be a very Joe thing to do. the lil kiddos come to him with a paper cut or scraped elbow and he’s there, smothering it in healing daddy kisses
who’s the sucker for the puppy eyes:
GEORGE. I mean, also Joe as I said earlier, because George can do some hella good puppy eyes, but the one you don’t expect to be so good at it is Joe. His puppy eyes just WAM *points at heart* get ya right here
who makes the “dad jokes”:
who embarrassed their kid for fun:
also George. ever the jokester smh. and he is especially fond of the ‘knock it off’ look Joe gives him when he ribs the kids too much.
who’s the over protective one:
not to be dramatic but they would both kill a man for their kids without even batting an eye.
who’s the “take a sweater!” parent:
in the vein of the worrier parent question, I gotta say Joe. imagine him chasing the kids out of the house with their jackets ‘YOU CAN’T FORGET THIS YOU’LL GET SICK’
when it’s 4am and you should be tired bc you did stuff all freaking day, but you’re wide awake and freezing and who let this happen god dammnit does someone have a tiny voodoo doll of me being frequently dipped in some kind of concentrated caffeine?
every time she sees him, she can’t help commenting on how tall he’s getting. you’ve grown again, even, you’re head’s going to touch the ceiling soon!
she doesn’t have favourites - really, she doesn’t; she loves all her son’s friends - but she always gives even an extra spoonful of food, winking at him as she does it, and even just smiles fondly at her and tucks in
sometimes, even will detach himself from elias and the boys and go to the kitchen, to help mamma bakkoush with the cooking. they would talk and talk and talk, about nothing and everything, and she teaches him all these little tricks, like how adding a splash of sour cream makes your eggs taste better
occasionally, she’ll find even awake at ridiculous times at night. 3am, 4am. she’ll be downstairs getting a drink, and she finds him, sat at the table or in the living room, restless, wide awake. “can’t sleep?” she’ll ask quietly, and even will look at her and shake his head. and so she makes them both a hot chocolate, and settles on the sofa with him. she’ll watch a film with him and listen as even tells her about the camera angles and directional choices and, ok, she’s really, really tired, but she takes comfort in knowing even isn’t awake alone
another evening, she finds him downstairs reading one of their qur’ans. when he sees her, he shuts it quickly and apologises, standing up awkwardly, and she just sits next to him and asks what he was doing, voice kind and quiet and gentle. “i was just interested, that’s all, i’m sorry,” he says. but mamma bakkoush tells him there’s nothing to apologise for, nothing at all. and she proceeds to tell him to read it if he wants to, and to let her know if he has any questions, or wants to talk about it with someone. and the little sparkle he gets in his eyes when she says it, and the smile that won’t really go away, makes her so so happy.
but soon, everyone can’t help noticing that even isn’t…isn’t well. mamma bakkoush notices this. even’s mother notices this; has phoned about it in tears. he won’t get help. can’t see anything different about his behaviour. and mamma bakkoush tries to talk to elias about it, but he doesn’t want to believe it. says it’s just even, mamma, this is what he’s like
there’s a night though, where even shows up at their house unexpectedly and asks for elias. but elias is out, so he ends up talking to mamma bakkoush. and he tells her he just needed to get away. he doesn’t say it, but she knows his parents have been pushing him to see doctors recently. she knows he’s been refusing, that he’s found being at home….it’s a lot for him. she knows it’s tiring and terrifying and she can just see the exhaustion radiating off him.
she rings even’s parents to let them know he’s safe and with her, and then she makes some hot chocolate and settles in the living room with him. even is quiet and subdued and just…not there, really. at all. but then even asks her if she can read something - anything - from the qur’an to him. his voice is quiet and husky and so, so soft, but almost desperate, too. desperate and somewhere between hopeless and hopeful.
mamma bakkoush smiles and nods, reading a passage that she hopes will calm him. and sure enough, she’s barely been reading for five minutes before even stops fighting sleep and lets it wash over him, snoring softly, and she smiles and takes the hot chocolate away, popping a blanket over him to keep him warm
she’s about to go upstairs when she hears his voice again. he’s barely conscious - still asleep, really, but he says, “mrs. bakkoush?”
and she turns to him and yes, his eyes are closed, he really is just sleep talking, but she says, “yes, even?’ anyway
and then he opens his eyes. tired, heavy, teary. and he says, voice barely above a whisper and so, so vulnerable; “can you pray for me?”
mamma bakkoush simply smiles, walking over to him and crouching so their eyes meet. she places a hand over his, pushing his hair away for his eyes and smiling quietly at him before saying, “my darling, i pray for you every day”
even falls asleep again after that, and it’s the first time in a while, mamma bakkoush thinks, that he’s actually slept through the night
then, one day, even stops coming over. the boys no longer talk to him. and she knows he isn’t her son, and that teenagers are teenagers and friendships can come and go, but she can’t help this ache in her chest. she just misses him. and she tries to encourage elias to patch things up between them, but it doesn’t work. eventually, they don’t talk about him much anymore, but it doesn’t stop her thinking about him, praying for him, hoping he’s ok
and oh, when even comes back. he looks terrified, like he’s anticipating the worst, all wide eyed and chewed lips, and she knows even, knows he will have worried about not being wanted here, worried that she’d hate him for what happened between him and elias. she knows all this, which is why, when she sees him, she smiles wide, arms open, and says, “come here.” and she pulls him into a hug, squeezing him tightly, then she pulls away and cups his cheeks, making their eyes meet as she says, “i’m so happy to have you back, even.” and she says it with such force, such sincerity, such meaning, that even really can’t do anything but believe her.
I have a theory. Hating someone feels disturbingly similar to being in love with them. I’ve had a lot of time to compare love and hate, and these are my observations. Love and hate are visceral. Your stomach twists at the thought of that person. The heart in your chest beats heavy and bright, nearly visible through your flesh and clothes. Your appetite and sleep are shredded. Every interaction spikes your blood with adrenaline, and you’re in the brink of fight or flight. Your body is barely under your control. You’re consumed, and it scares you.