Tag Archives: parents

Happy Birthday, Sam!

Once upon a time, I tried sending my brother to his room. He refused. I probably yelled. It was in the early days when I was 8 or so and Mom first let us stay home alone for short periods of time. 

I remember my Dad taking me aside afterwards and saying quite firmly, “Amy, as the oldest you are in charge. But Sam is your deputy. You don’t get to boss him around. You work with him.” 

I honestly don’t think Sam and I have had a fight since.

Happy Birthday to the best deputy a sister could ask for! I hope you have another incredible year. (And also, thanks for giving me the best nephew on the planet. More pictures of him always welcome. 😉 ) 

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Movie Night With the Siblings

“Mom and Dad aren’t home! What should we watch?’

“Let’s pick something dark and scary! Maybe Gotham.” 

“Yeah! Mom doesn’t like those shows or movies. Netflix has all the Halloween movies out. Great timing.”

“Or we could watch a kid’s movie. Parents aren’t home to judge us.”

“That’s true! Disney movie? Mickey Mouse’s House of Villains?”

“Hercules!”

“Monsters vs Aliens!” 

“Batman Unlimited: Monster Mayhem.” 

“Yesssssssssssssssssssss.”

30 minutes later, Mom walks in. “What are you watching? You always watch lousy TV when I’m gone.”


Sibling Dynamics

I’m sitting in a coffee shop pretending to do homework and watching the post-church crowd. A family with three daughters enters. The three girls are maybe 6, 4, and 2. They have matching French braids and a determined air. The reason for the air becomes apparent once their parents allow them to pick a spot to sit. They choose a table with a bench sitting three on one side facing two chairs. 

“I’m going to sit here, and Mommy and Daddy will sit on either side of me,” announces the eldest, choosing the bench while her less perceptive sisters pick chairs. 

Instantly, the youngest switches spots to sit beside her. 

“No!” exclaims the oldest, moving to the other side of the table to sit by the middle child. She eyes her sister with disapproval. “You’re so lucky,” she says. “You get to sit between Mommy and Daddy.” 

The middle child switches spots. Now two of them are on the bench side and one is sitting on a chair. Then the eldest gets up to sit on the bench. She announces that the three of them will face their parents, making it all fair. 

The youngest shouts that she wants to sit by Mommy. This brings Mommy over. She is settled on a chair. The youngest is desolate. She moves from the bench. This, however, upsets the careful balance. One parent’s side has been chosen. Now the debate becomes who will sit by Daddy. 

The eldest looks with calculation at her sisters, clearly still trying to figure out how to sit between her parents. She tries the good old shoving technique. Her Mother reprimands her. She settles to pout. Daddy comes over. All three voices raise demanding he sit by them. 

In the end it is the middle child who sacrifices her wish. She offers to move to a chair so that the eldest and youngest can sit by Daddy. Mommy moves a chair to the side of the table so she can be flanked by two. Peace momentarily settles. 

The entire time I sit the corner trying not to laugh too loudly because I’m 98% certain this exact scenario played out many times with my siblings and me. Kudos to the middle children who keep the peace! 


Gratitude

A lot has been changing for me lately and I will be free to say more about that in the next few weeks. For now, I just want to share in the vaguest possible way how grateful I am for those around me. I’ve been feeling some strain because I haven’t been able to share on this blog some of the emotions whirling around inside my head. Gratitude, however, is not one I need to keep contained. 

I’m grateful for my family. Moving home after college could have been a really hard decision. I have never regretted it. My parents and siblings are incredibly supportive and kind. They put up with a lot from me and are fun to be around. Seriously, I have a wonderful family. I’m grateful for this time with them. I’m grateful for my extended family too. I have the best aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents. It has been so nice to be near them, even if I do not see them all the time. 

I’m grateful for my friends: both the new ones and the old ones. I never expected to find such community in my small home town. I’m grateful for continued friendships from college and high school. I’ve got to travel and visit and bond over the past two years with some really awesome people. 

Though full of ups and downs, life is good. God is good. I’m grateful for where I am at. 


DEBT FREE!!

In August of 2015, I made my first student loan payment. Today I made my last. I AM DEBT FREE! 

I want to say a quick thank you to my parents for letting me move back home so I could save on rent, my sisters who have had to share a room with me, and the financial adviser who pissed me off by telling me I couldn’t possibly pay off the remainder of my loans in a year. You, sir, were a jerk, but thanks for the motivation. 

In all seriousness, though, I could not have paid these loans off as fast as I did without the support of my family. Thank you all for your help and sacrifice. ❤ 


Parental Programming

My siblings and I have long been firm believers in the theory that if a parent walks in the room, whatever you are watching on the TV will suddenly take a turn for the worse. As children watching PBS programming, we would enjoy a show for weeks without the slightest qualms, but the moment our Mom watched the show with us, there would be an episode full of dark magic and death. She would then ban us from watching the show, and we would feel justifiably wronged. 

As we have gotten older, this problem has persisted. Perfectly clean movies will suddenly get sketchy when Mom comes home. It doesn’t matter if we are watching DramaFever, Netflix, or a movie from the library. Something gets inappropriate the minute she walks in. 

Last night my sisters and I started a new Korean drama while my Mom was out. Bethany insisted that we watch only until Mom got home, because the minute she entered the house it would get weird. I laughed at her superstition. She grew more frantic. The drama was upbeat, bubbly, and extremely funny. I told her there was no reason to worry. Our Mom came home and walked in the room…and out of NOWHERE a creepy, evil guy kidnaps a girl and chains her to a bed in his basement. I kid you not. 

Murphy’s Law isn’t quite the phrase for this, but there must be one like it. Something like, The Parental Programming Law: no matter what you are watching, it will get inappropriate the minute your parent walks in the room.