on family.

Family gatherings always have a way of making me feel like I’m ten years old again. It doesn’t matter how old we get, we all seem to fall back into our childhood-selves as soon as we walk into my mom’s house. Even if just for a second, there we all are– it’s the late 90s and everything is just as it always was.
Adam and Jake are always on the verge of doing something really stupid. There was the time they locked themselves in their room and pulled all the hair out of our cat’s tail.. the time they threw walnuts at the windows to see if they could break them.. the time they put on brand new socks and walked in the mud, just because. The living and breathing manifestation of Step-Brothers (Will Ferrel and John C. Reilly, in all their glory), their brilliant ideas never cease to amaze. I’m sure if their Batman and Red Power Ranger costumes (circa 1998) still fit, they would wear them with pride as often as possible.
While Madison and Jerome maintain that they hate each other’s guts, this picture is proof that there was a time when they were total BFFs. Only 18 months apart, these two were always together– and then middle school happened and I guess being best friends with your little sister wasn’t so cool anymore. While they put on a front like they hate each other, I’m pretty confident they’re lying. Ten years from now, when they’re done being weird teenagers, they’ll be holding hands on a dirt pile again somewhere and we’ll all say “I told you so.”
The first and the favorite (naturally), I will always be the first to boss everyone around. Grown-ups call it nice things like “micro-managing” and “being assertive,” but let’s call a spade a spade– I was a dictator. Summer vacation usually consisted of me forcing my younger siblings to play endless games of “house” and “school,” and tattling on them when they didn’t play right. And though it’s been years since our last game of “house,” the Angelica in me always rears her head when the situation calls for it. What can I say? Old habits die hard.

And then there are these crazy kids. Since remarrying a few years ago, my mom added two more little nuggets to the bunch. It’s kind of funny to think about where they’re going to fit in with the rest of us– what stories will they have to tell in ten or twenty years? I’m sure Little Man will be giving them a run for their money in no time.
Now that the big kids have started leaving home, it’s rare that we’re all in the same place. And even though we’re pretty good about getting together for the holidays, we didn’t quite make it this Easter. My mom still made a yummy spread of all our favorite foods, Madison and Jerome still pretended to hate each other, and the little guys still managed to steal the show.. but without Adam and Jake, it wasn’t quite the same. 
Somewhere between the Batman and Red Power Ranger costumes, the dirt pile, and the two-millionth game of “school,” we had something pretty special. If you had told us then, we wouldn’t have believed you. But now? Now I know it was.
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Author: Erica the Great

twenty-something + wife + momma + teacher + lover of nutella

2 thoughts on “on family.”

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