Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Well, there ya have it.

Nothing is simple.  Or straightforward.  Or lonely. When it comes to my family. Nothing.  I can ask a sister to watch the boys on a Saturday night while Matt and I go to a shower, or birthday party, or just to a relaxing dinner, only to come home to my mom asleep on the couch with one, or two children passed out with her.  Or my brother over, watching a movie and drinking a soda.  Hell, I have even come home to find that "my mom" watching the boys turned into a BBQ on the deck with every one of my siblings and nephew, using our charcoal, our grill, and numerous other items!
The complications, or change in plans, or shenanigans, or whatever you want to call it don't stop there.  Just tonight, I called my younger sister to see if she would like to accompany me and the three littles for a nice evening stroll.  She happily accepted stating she had to first bake some chicken as Neal does not know how to make dinner and has informed her that he "never will".  Mixing some salt, pepper and herbs on a couple chicken breasts and throwing them in the oven for an hour took me years to perfect, so, I don't blame him.  At the ripe old age of 27, there's not point to learn now.  So, I loaded the van and headed to her place.  We had nearly rounded all 3 kids up and gotten the strollers going, when Leah's phone rings.  It's the eldest.  She was calling to see if Leah had any Jalapeno peppers she could have to use with her dinner. And, oh, you're on a walk!?  Well, then you can just stop by and drop them off on your way.  Leah goes inside, the boys run a muck, then Leah returns with a bag of Jalapenos, to which Curtis exclaims, "cookie!? cookie!?  cookie!?" - and people wonder why we question that one's intelligence.  And we are off, finally, only in the direction of my mom/sister's home, instead of directly to the Trolley trail.

No less than a block away, who do we see at the corner, but Xander.  As soon as Brock recognizes his cousin, he dashes off to greet him.  Curtis suddenly comes alive and hops out of the stroller, also ditching his pacifier, to call Xander's name, which is something more like "Neener", moving his little feet as quickly as possibly, creating the appearance that he is running, but in actuality is not moving any faster than my or Leah's stroll.  He is so cute.  We get to the front door, my sister greets us, the dog gets out the front door, and eventually my mother makes her way to the yard.  But just the 4 of us girls, with the 4 boys, and the dog isn't enough.  My mother invites the passing pedestrian, whom I doubt she has EVER seen before, to let her dog play with Marley.  So, we now have three boys playing tag and two large dogs rumbling. And one awkward feeling stranger, who was just too nice to say no to the crazy lady insisting the dogs play.

Anyway, we get rid of the stranger, we finish looking at proofs of Leah's wedding invite on my phone, and we start to get the boys back in walk mode, and now, we are plus one.  As Xander and Brock are clearly not going to separate. We make it on our pleasant stroll, but have to leave Brock and Curtis at my mother's while Leah, George and I make our way back to her place so I can drive back with the van.  Leah calls Neal back, as he has called, because he is unsure how to get the chicken out of the oven.  Long story, short, or shortened at this point, the walk is over, I get the boys home, put them to bed, and reflect on my evening as nothing but a positive experience.
Despite how frustrating it can get at times, to try to coordinate with my expansive family.  Or that a simple walk turns into a fiasco.  Or that I am never really sure who is watching my kids when one of them agrees to it.  Or that we can never all be driving somewhere without my mother insisting on spending 20 minutes trying to figure out how we can all make it in 2 cars as opposed to 5, since it is a whole 25 minute drive somewhere, therefore making us all late, not to mention uncomfortable.  Or that a classy graduation from Medical School or Graduate school turns into doing kegs stands, mom included. Or that I can never be sure what condition I will get my child back in, after a day at MaGra's. Or that you can't really do lunch with one sibling, without another catching wind and joining in, turning my quick, 30 minute lunch into an 1.5 hour experience, where we inevitably stop at an Estate sale or three on the way home.  And often my grandmother gets pulled into the mix.  Despite all of this.  I love it.  I love them.  I was raised in this chaos, and it is the norm for us.  And I really don't think I would ever want it any other way.

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