All families are crazy, especially other peoples’s families. Now I know that all families have their share of drama and heartache. And I believe that in the best of families that is balanced by the love and laughter. Sometimes during the darkest moments it is hard to remember the “good times”.
Growing up I was often the peace maker at home. My two older brothers would fight and I was the little one that would cry (or tell on them) and that would create a parentally-imposed temporary cease fire. As I grew older and my middle brother grew increasingly rebellious and defiant, I would be the one that Mom and Dad would reach out to for comfort/solace. Remember I was YOUNGER – what the hell did I know about being a rebellious teen when I was 11 or 12? When my little sister was a teenager (I had young children of my own by then) I would spend endless hours on the phone with Mom listening to her heartaches about raising a teenager. And then my sister would call and tell me about the HELL of living with a crazy menopausal mother! It’s hard to be Switzerland when you’re living in the midst of France and Germany and Italy. But through the years I’ve tried to remain impartial (unless of course they start attacking me – and then I’m just another dog in the fight!). So there you have it. It is other peoples’ families that are the crazy ones; not mine.
My own kids have had their disagreements/stand-offs. But for the most part they live in harmony – maybe because they physically live so far apart. Whatever the reason; my wife and I don’t have to be arbiters or peace makers with them. I am truly thankful for this. My theory is that because our three children are so different from one another they rarely compete or argue. There commonality is love but they live very different lives.
Each of them has a very different personality:
Tyson he is so trusting that he would NEVER question something that someone he loves or respects tells him. He was often the victim of pranks perpetrated by his siblings. And he was also the only kid in our subdivision that ran away from the ice cream truck because I once told him that it was an ambulance – is that wrong? His vocation – career military – fits his personality type perfectly. He never questions orders and he is faithful to his command and his troops. He trusts in the good that he is doing.
Bess is very intelligent and sarcastic. She may have inherited this trait from yours truly (but get over it you bunch of cry-babies). She is truly funny and can make the most uncomfortable situations amusing by her unique and sometimes irreverent take on the world around her. Once when she was in grade school and being bossed around by a fellow student while they were helping out in the cafeteria, she reminded the other girl that she was a server not her servant. Her vocation – motherhood/education – sometimes humor is the only way you survive raising/teaching children (hence, the nick-names).
Blake was (and still is?) a wild child. He was completely adorable and completely a maniac. He had a habit of writing or carving his name on furniture, lamps, walls, etc., etc. Once at about age 7 or 8 while being interrogated about a recent rash of “personalizing” he demanded to know why we would assume it was him! After all, his brother or sister might have written his name on all those things. Really??? His vocation – cooking – after majoring in theater he has taken his passion to the kitchen. Being a wild sous-chef is considered normal in his trade.
So my family is crazy but good crazy. The kind of crazy that makes sense to me anyway. We love crazy, madly, deeply. We trudge along in our imperfect way and we do our best.
And on Father’s Day (as I do each day) I’ll thank God again for my kids and our special brand of craziness.