14 December 2010

Worth the Wait

I have been trying everything to get my kids to smile.  Making them study, do their chores and wear shoes rather than flip flops when they leave the house in below freezing weather.  Yeah.  The smiles have come few and far between.  Let's just put it this way, have you seen the commercial for a cruise vacation where there is a young teenage girl who doesn't smile except for when there is a tanned and muscled windsurfing instructor? 

There are no windsurfing instructors here.

Do you remember when your younger brother was born?  What were you, like, three? Things had been pretty sweet up to then.  You had Mom's undivided attention whenever she wasn't on the phone you wanted it.  Everything you did was clever and every paper you brought home from school was further evidence that you were a genius.  Grandma was wrapped around your little finger.  And Grandpa.  Forget about it.  You owned Grandpa.

Until he HE came.  Nothing like carrying on the family name and having a, um...five o'clock shadow, to make them forget your name.

But you got their attention.  He cried; you cried.  He wet; you wet.  He messed himself; you...

colored on the walls.

Imagine, if you will, that you reigned for another ten years before the little fella came along.  Everyone you knew was cooing over the new guy.  Asking you what you thought of the new guy.  Impressed with all the manners and the accomplishments of the new guy.

Imagine you were thirteen.  THIRTEEN, people!  When you are thirteen, everyone hates you for new reasons everyday, mostly because your shirt is the wrong color or your hair doesn't look right.  When you are thirteen, your parents are wrong about everything for reasons that you are making up as you go.  When you are thirteen, you are frantically clinging to the idea that you are the center of the ACTUAL universe, and the axis of the earth LITERALLY shoots up through the downstairs half bath.  Life is not generally cooperative and you are continually at odds with a world that insists that the earth's axis really shoots up through the north pole...  That's why they refer to it as a pole.  Even though it isn't actually a pole. 

It is really confusing to be thirteen.

Then your embarrassing parents adopt a little boy.  Who is six.  Not only is everyone looking at you.  Actually.  Not just in your imagination.  The kid is also dynamite.  "What if Mom and Dad notice he has better manners?"  "What if he makes better grades?"  "What if his cute and cuddliness accentuates my repellent prickliness?"  "What if they decide not to love me anymore?"  "I have been rather a "fire-breathing so and so" for a year or two; are they trying to replace me?

We did.  He does, but he's in the first grade.  It does.  Are you serious? I might as well decide to fly with these batwings.  While you do tempt me, no; never going to happen.

For his part, he loves them truly, madly, deeply.  No matter what their drama.

For a minute this evening, there must have been a surf instructor behind me while I had the camera out.

Or maybe it was just the chocolate ice cream.

I couldn't ask for a better gift for the holidays.

I am participating in the Invisalign Teen Bright Smiles Holiday Photo Contest with Dumb Mom.”


  1. What beautiful smiles! How could he not love them deeply, madly, truly...as their eyes light up the universe when they smile(even if not the center of it)...at least they make it shine!
    You are all very blessed!

  2. And the newest family member is just adorable and looks like he's adjusted to life here nicely.

  3. You are so blessed, mama! What gorgeous smiles from all involved!

    And you made me laugh and take a trip down memory lane (thanks), for I had reigned for 9 blessed years before my little runt brother popped into the world. Surprise to all! The guy is STILL the golden boy.

    And I love him.

  4. When they come, the smiles are beautiful...What a wonderful family. My boys are so little, I can't imagine 13! But I remember 13...you captured it perfectly. Good luck, I'll be thinking of you...

    Lots of yummy love,
    Alex aka Ma What's For Dinner


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