Family Schmamily

I really need to know why the people you love the most can drive you the craziest. Is it just me? Am I the only one who gets the crazies from relatives?

Every week we spend Tuesday night with my parents. We eat supper, we sit and talk, my dad and I drink Diet Coke. It’s good times.

Except, as everyone in the family is getting older (adults included), some Tuesdays I’d rather shove corncobs in unmentionable places than go to my parents’.

And it’s not because I don’t love my family. I do. My family kicks ass.

It’s because my mother’s house is spotless, and I always feel guilty about my family, the five tornados, who swirl through and leave category 12 disasters in our wake.
It’s because all three of my kids compete for attention because they’re not swimming in attention or anything.
It’s because cell service at my parents’ isn’t great, and I am always reminded how technology addicted I am when my service is spotty.
It’s because if there is anything annoying to be accomplished, my children will surely seek it out.

Take this week: we were celebrating Ava’s birthday, albeit a week early. Tradition dictates that the birthday honoree picks the evening’s menu, so it was Ava’s choice.
We had: deer kebabs, spaghetti, and macaroni and cheese. And pink birthday cake.
She narrated the placing of the candles.
She raked her fingers through the frosting on the cake.

Max spent most of his time hiding in random places, even though no one was looking for him.

Lucy carted around whatever inappropriate container she could find (the frosting tub, an empty Pringles can) and repeatedly snuck into the living room, where she’d play a single note on the piano, giggle, and run away.

I was tired after about five minutes.

But as soon as I start having these thoughts, as soon as the frustration makes me just want to stay at home, I remember living in Jackson, pregnant and tired, with no Tuesday nights at mom’s.

My kids ate waffles and Josh worked late. I was lonely and everyone seemed so far away.

So, from now until eternity, we spend Tuesday nights on the hill where I grew up. And I cannot imagine a better time to be had.

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