Monday, April 7, 2014

The Brother's O'Laughlin

The thing about chaos, is that while 
it disturbs us, it too, forces 
our hearts to roar in a way we
secretly find magnificent.
                                -Christopher Poindexter

Growing up, we affectionately referred to our home and family as "the Smith Zoo".  When I was in college, my many team mates looked forward to meeting the members, to see what all the ruckus was about.  When my entire family piled into a rented minivan to take a road trip to Austin, TX to watch me compete as a freshman in NCAA's, the scene did not disappoint.  As luck would have it, the Smith clan arrived at the hotel just as the Hoosier swimmers were returning from warm ups, the night before the meet was to begin.  The first person to stumble, and I literally mean stumble, out of the van was my youngest brother, Timothy.  His entire right leg, some of his shirt and foot covered in a chocolate milkshake. My sister, Leah, soon after him, shaking her hand as she had just touched some of said, spilt milkshake.  The whole family was obviously annoyed with one another, and ready for a break.  My team mates watched, waved and laughed at the scene.  The sight only confirmed the picture I had painted with my many stories and descriptions.

Everyday, something comical happens in my new family.  I have never smiled so much in my life.  Everyday something frustrating happens.  Something disgusting.  Something maddening.  Something exciting.  Something adorable.  Oh, so very adorable.  Something tragic.  Something magic. Something nerve-wrecking.  Something inspiring.  Something hilarious.  Something aggravating.  Something beautiful.  Something sad.  Something stressful.  Something enlightening. A friend with twin toddlers said it perfectly, "I hate them and love them in extremes every day, many times a day."  In one instance, a few of them are purposefully kicking one another, crying, screeching, being so horribly loud.  In the next, they have decided to build a roadway, and the three of them are lying on the floor, cheeks against the ground, quietly pushing their motor vehicles along the tracks.

Brock springs out of his seat at the mention of going somewhere, such as the store, insisting we leave his brother's home.  Moments later, while on a walk, I threaten to ditch his trailing brother, and head back home without him.  Brock cries, is genuinely worried, and will not leave his brother behind.  Curtis decided to be potty-trained the other day.  This is glorious.  He has also decided he needs zero assistance. Ever.  This is disastrous.  One word.  Poop.  If George doesn't get his point across with his one, made up word.  He just repeats it, LOUDER.  And boxes you out to corral you to wherever he needs you.  This habit is both highly irritating, and utterly entertaining.  I laugh, all the time...he takes this as encouragement.  It's not.  Mitch can crawl. Sort of. He adorably attempts to find me throughout the house, and when he does, he tries to gnaw on my toes.  I cannot make eye contact with him, or he expects to be held.  I don't know where he got this idea.  Maybe it's because I'd be happy to oblige, and he knows it, but there are usually 3 other things to attend to at any given moment.  And by "things"  I mean Brock, Curtis and/or George.
This crew is absolutely not what I had ever envisioned, yet is everything I had ever hoped for in a family.  I could never wish for anything different.  I look forward to everyday with these naive, free spirits.  Each little boy is an amazing and perfect little human.  I feel honored, and simply happy, to care for them with Matt as my partner, every day.  They are a team, these brother's O'Laughlin.  I hope they will look back on their chaotic, zoo of a childhood with the same fondness I look upon mine.  Though, I'm never sure my "childhood" is over...I believe my siblings and I continue to create silly, crazy, asinine memories.  So, I hope they look forward to a lifetime of hilarity and chaos.  I know I do, and though he might deny it, Matt does as well.  Even now, as I finish writing this, because it's after 11pm, and Mitch has decided to angrily wake up,  I am both annoyed to hear him cry, yet secretly happy I get to cuddle with him, once more, right before bed.  I can never get enough of that perfect baby skin, smell, hair, newness, quiet.
I can never get enough of my boys.  The Brother's O'Laughlin.

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