One of the greatest things about family, is that they never let you live certain things down. You know, the recurring stories that get shared everytime you get together. The stories may get embellished, but they never get forgotten.
Take for instance, the time I fell into the lagoon at the State Fair of Texas. My dad, sister, and I were chasing each other through the lagoon leaping from rock to rock. Keep in mind the lagoon is a yucky, swampy, decorative pond. Also worthy of noting, is the fact that I am 13 years old. I was at what my mother called the “awkward age”, in other words, I was clumsy. She warned us, “Somebody’s gonna get hurt”. However, in typical fashion, we ignored her. A bottleneck occurred in our leapfrog game, and I ran into the back of Dad, and fell straight in the sludge of the lagoon. I spent the next 5 hours smelling like a dumpster and looking like I got the bad end of a mud fight. I did not mind, as I did not want to miss the midway. However, I had no idea that 29 years later, we would still be retelling this story at family get togethers.
Oh, there was the moment when I was in 3rd grade. We were vacationing in Rocky Mountain National Park and my parents told me that we were going to hike Glacier Gorge. I got very quiet, I had a look of terror on my face, and my knees began to shake. When I was asked what was wrong I responded, “I learned about glaciers at school, and they are giant blocks of ice. There is no way I want to climb a mountain and stand on ice. I’ll slip off and die.” Hence, a legend was born. I will never live it down. That comment earned me the labels: overthinker and realist. A story and personality trait that I am still reminded of today when we congregate as a family.
Then, there is the infamous “Pull-Up Fairy” story. My children will never forget. When I was potty training the triplets all at the same time, one of the greatest feats of my life, they did not want to wear Pull-Ups…ever. It was big kid underwear all the time. Which in most ways was wonderful. However, once in a while, in a fit of exhaustion, I deemed myself incapable of changing wet sheets in the middle of the night. Sometimes, it was due to lost sleep the previous night. Other times, it was the realization that a certain child forgot to go potty before bed. Still other nights, it was the startling thought that a particular child drank 16 ounces of water before bed and it was gonna come out sooner or later. In these moments I did what every self-respecting mother would do, I slipped into my child’s bedroom and slipped Pull-Ups over their jammies. I just slid them over whatever they were wearing…sleepers, jammies, or onesies. They would then wake in the morning to Pull-Ups on top of their bedclothes. It was a shock! They would ask what happened, to which I would respond, “The Pull-up Fairy” must have come last night. They were not amused! They figured it out quickly and they still laugh about my crazy idea today. It comes up quite often at our house.
There is nothing better than family togetherness. Laughter is one way we are drawn together. Those shared experiences that bond us with one another and bring us such joy, are one of the many beautiful gifts of family.