My nose flares when I laugh. I laugh at inappropriate times. At inappropriate times I say inappropriate things.
I wear granny slippers all over the house. I wear athletic socks no matter the shoe. My shoes rarely coordinate well with my outfit.
I say yes when I mean no. I argue the other side even when I actually agree with you. I'm pretty passionate about what I think but I'm not always sure that what I think is right.
I'm pretty sure my idiosyncrasies outnumber my charms. My hypocrisies outweigh my virtues. And when I mention that you probably shouldn't eat that second cup of ice cream, you should know it's because I want to ensure that it'll be there when I come double dipping after you go to bed. Whether or not I should.
My breath stinks when I wake up. I leave folded laundry all over the couch leaving my guests perched on armrests and teetering on the edge. I'll make you a great dinner but I'll boss you like crazy on where you cannot and definitely cannot eat. You there, you're okay there at the table, with bib on, and plastic spread beneath your chair.
Yet for all of what makes me me, for better or for worse, I am still their first love, their only love; a good friend, their best friend; their daughter, their pride and joy; their sister, their good buddy; their mother, the best mother in the whole world.
When a house becomes full with gathered family, it radiates with all the blessings of home, no matter where it is. A card game becomes an opportunity to relinquish your competitive side and replace it with a spirit of love. Watching American Idol together becomes a chance to see if you can outmatch the judges' criticisms with compliments and kudos. Finding a little girl with golden locks already fast asleep in the bed you were assigned challenges you to construct one that can be just right for you out of couches, cushions, and a few spare afghans. Hearing that four more guests will be joining you for dinner in an hour forces you to open your heart and your freezer without grumbling and complaining about the lack of communication. In a house where 15 people combined have 7 computers, 7 cell phones, and 5 land lines at their fingertips and yet all you still seem to get is the busy signal. Doing what she wanted instead of what I had planned, rescheduling my party to accommodate his, and sticking a load of theirs in with some of mine is all in a day's work. Cleaning up his mess because she cleaned up mine, loaning her my jacket because I not-so-secretly envy hers, and relying on your ear plugs because you're the only one who didn't inherit the night owl gene, that is family.
It might not always be easy. It might not always be pretty. It probably won't work out just like you envisioned and it definitely won't make everyone happy all the time. But it will be fun. By golly, it will be fun! There will be laughter, lots of laughter. There will be memories made and inside jokes shared. Pictures taken that, even if you'd rather they not be publicly shared, will capture the moment perfectly and encapsulate the feelings and emotions of the time we spent together, untouched and unedited. And it will still be beautiful.
Because no matter what we do,
"All of the people around us say
Can we be that close
Just let me state for the record
We're giving love in a family dose, yeah..."
Giving love in a family dose, that's Family!