Dave and I ran into the mother of one of Grace’s friends one day while we were out and about in China (they lived in an adjacent neighborhood to ours).
She told us her daughter had come home from our house a few nights before with stars in her eyes and had raved on and on to her our family: “They are SO happy! Oh how they treat their little sister! Oh how they laugh and help each other out! Oh how I wish we had more children like they do in our family!”
Dave and I looked at each other and almost laughed. Hadn’t that been the night that Lucy had started her new habit of yelling out “I hate everything about my life!” in frustration? Wasn’t that the night we were so embarrassed because Elle and Grace had been in a little fight about who borrowed who’s shirt right in front of the guests and that just may have been the same night that Max broke off the front doorknob because he was so mad no one would come answer the door.
Was she really talking about the same family?? Somehow she just saw the glossy overview amidst the nit-picky squabbles.
I wonder if sometimes that vision of our family comes across here on this blog too. Well, actually I KNOW it does in a lot of ways. Although I do try to keep it real on here, the majority of what I write is the snuggly, feel-good stuff. But when someone at book club (who reads this blog from time to time) looked at me funny last night when I was telling her how Max was mortified to so much as press send for an email to one of his teachers in China let alone talk to him face-to-face because he’s so painfully shy at times and told me that was definitely not how she envisioned that tall boy of mine to be, I realized I better do a better job of telling the other side of the story along with the lovey-dovey stuff. (Yowzas that was an awesome run-on sentence.) Because boy howdy and man alive we have problems over here just like every other family. (I wonder if sometimes the “meanies” come out more when they think everything is just a little too hunkey-dorey over here?? Who knows.)
I mean, really, we do adore each other. I like to think we have some pretty heart-melting relationships going on around these parts. But that certainly doesn’t mean we are always nice to each other. And these kids of ours? Well, I’m a little biased because as their mother I can’t help but think they’re about the best thing that ever hit the planet. But wow, do they still have their issues. Teenagers? I don’t say a whole bunch about the dumb mistakes they make because that’s not very fair to them. Although I am an open book in a lot of things, there are some things that aren’t appropriate to blab over the internet. It’s one thing to talk about a toddler having a tantrum in the middle of a parking lot, it’s a whole other story to put your trying-to-figure-out-life-for-reals teenager issues out there in cyberspace.
That’s one reason I’m slowing down a whole heck of a lot on this blog. I want to be with those kids of mine now more than ever. I cannot stand that Max is graduating in a matter of months. I don’t ever want to look back and think, “oh man, I wish I had been with those kids (and husband!) more instead of hunching over my dumb computer!” So many thoughts on that and my “one word” for the year that is helping me when I can get my act together enough to post it.
For today, I just wanted to say that just because I haven’t talked about my specialty of slamming doors lately doesn’t mean there haven’t been some doozeys over here.
Just wanted to set that straight this fine Wednesday morning.