People who meet me seem to think that my family and family life are a bit Norman Rockwell. I honestly can’t figure out why. I mean, my kids are really sweet in general. They’re polite and intelligent. People compliment me on them often because they’re really good kids. My husband and I aren’t gushy affectionate, but we like each other most of the time and I guess it shows. People are always making comments about how obvious it is that we’re in love. I’m never really sure what that means (we don’t make out in public, or anything), but I assume that it’s a good thing.
We are very not perfect, though. Let me shatter that “perfect” image for you guys real quick.
As any guest of my home can attest to, my house is not in perfect order. I’ve said before that my house often looks like some sort of natural disaster has occurred recently. It’s not dirty, but it’s not a museum. My home is lived in by a bunch of small tornadoes and it shows. I learned 3 kids ago that keeping my house pristine would only happen at the sake of my sanity and what little sleep I get.
Speaking of the walking natural disasters…yes, my kids can be very sweet. But let me remind you that they are still kids. They have bad minutes, bad hours, and bad days. You get to see them being nice, but sometimes they are terrors!
Persephone, for example. Everyone who meets her talks about how loving and protective she is. She always wants to help everyone. She wants to be the leader. Unfortunately, that sometimes means she wants to lead them in a mutiny against their parents…she’ll make a great politician. Dimitrios is my karma. He can be so creative and intelligent, but he is also stubborn and sarcastic. Lucius is a whole other type of kid. He’s so precious, but he’s also so very trying. Theron is fiercely independent, which can be both a blessing and a curse.
And then there is Calandra. As I write this, she has thrown herself across the couch and is refusing to get up because it’s bedtime and she wants water. “But I’m tired! I mean, thirsty! And my legs don’t work!” Yeah, that’s Callie. She’s the favorite among everyone who meets us. She’s cute and precocious and intelligent and adorable in the same way Shirley Temple was. She’s also the reason my husband decided that we didn’t need anymore children, or at least a multi year break before anymore. She’ll twirl and giggle her way into your heart, and then shriek at you like a howler monkey. She’ll run up to you and kiss you…then throw a plate at you because it isn’t the color she wanted. And she’s strong…
My husband and I aren’t perfect, either. Sometimes, we drive each other completely insane. For example, I love meeting new people and being stopped for discussions while out and about. My husband would rather stab himself to death with a spoon than go out into a group of people he doesn’t know. While he suggests I get to know people in Lynchburg in an “organic, just-bumped-into-each-other” way, he walks through any crowd of potential friends with a vaguely hostile look on his face. And he’s 6′ 5″. He’d make a great body guard, but I want people to talk to me. To be fair, I bug him, too. I’m not big on what I see as complaining, which means I’ll hold things in until I’m about to burst. My husband, despite his best efforts, isn’t a mind reader and hates that I don’t tell him when things are upsetting me. (My mom has actually had the same complaint my whole life, so it’s clearly a character flaw on my part.)
I don’t think I’d ever want to be perfect. That sounds so boring. I like that my husband and I can argue. It makes it that much better when we agree on stuff. And I like that my kids feel comfortable enough at home to be wild hooligans when they’re upset. They know that we’ll still love them even if they’re being little shits at the moment (though I’d never call them that to their faces). The fact that no one in this family freaks out about the little things is awesome! Imagine how tense my house would be if everything and everyone always had to be perfect? That would suck! Plus, I feel like it makes all of us better. I mean, it’s real life; things are not perfect. Sometimes, mommy gets mad. Sometimes, Dimitrios picks a fight with Lucius (and often losses). Sometimes, Calandra and Theron have tag team meltdowns and none of us want to talk to them. But we all work through it in the end.
Even though I don’t want to be perfect, I really should finish unpacking. Seriously, I’ve got boxes here I haven’t unpacked in 4 moves…