This post was supposed to be about my entire family, but about two paragraphs into writing it, I realized it was going to be really really long. So I'll have to break down these family posts. Apparently, I really love talking about the people I'm related to, by birth and by marriage.
I grew up in a great family. I don't say that out of obligation or delusion. They really are wonderful. One of the hardest things about being in the navy has been being on the other side of the country from most of them. And now, if you'll indulge some gushing that will probably sound a lot like bragging, I'm going to tell you about them.
My parents put up with me for eighteen years prior to me going to college. Then, even after I was not living at home (except over the summer) they still welcomed me whenever I could come visit. After college, I moved back in with them, and lived with them up until I got married. So they know me pretty well. And I'd like to think that I know them pretty well (though not nearly as well as they know me). And here's what I can tell you about them after spending so much time with them. They are some of the best people you will ever meet.
Growing up, my parents somehow managed to walk the line of listening to me, while at the same time making their own opinion known. I have no memories of feeling like they were treating me unfairly, unjustly, or cruelly, even in my teenage years. That, I feel, is quite an accomplishment on their part, and they should probably get an award, or at least a great big sticker. Instead, they get this blog post. Thanks!
They are some of the best conversationalists too. It's been amazing, the more I've grown up, the more interesting they've gotten to talk to! Though, this probably has more to do with me becoming more interesting, in all honesty. I love my telephone calls back home, and I love even more getting to visit them.
They also can do the requisite parenty-things. By that I mean things like cook food just a little bit better than anyone else, fix computer problems by phone, be really good at keeping plants alive, and know how to change a car battery. Basically they are the first people I come to when I'm having a problem, even if it is way outside of their fields of expertise. Way to go, parents!
Now, even though I had my parents to myself for about seven years, I did have to share them. Fortunately, the people I share them with are also darn spiffy.
My sister came along first. We never really did the sisterly fighting thing Now, this could be because of the age gap. Still, the closest we came to fighting was when I was about nine and she was about two. I was complaining that she kept copying everything I did. My mother informed me that "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." I think my brilliant retort was something along the lines of, "But it's annoying!" This was likely followed by sister saying, "But it's annoying!"
She got over that one really fast though, and it has been one of the great privileges of my life to get to see her grow up into the young woman she is today. She's going into college next year, and I am so very proud of her. I'm even more exited for the fact that I get to steal her away over summer. We are long overdue for some good sisterly time.
And then there's my brother. He came along about two and a half years after sister did. There was a ten year age gap between us, and you would think that would lead to some troubles in bonding. Well, maybe there were some, but if there's one thing a six year old him and sixteen year old me could agree on, it was that video games were cool. For awhile there I was the great fixer of video games. If he couldn't beat a boss, understand a quest, or figure out a menu system, I got to be the one who knew how to fix it. Unfortunately, I have long since given up this title, as he is quite competent in fixing his own video game problems, and can probably thrash me soundly in most games we would play. Still, it was nice while it lasted.
The older we've both gotten, the better he and I have gotten along as well. I keep forgetting he has a cell phone I can call, and talk to him WHENEVER I WANT. Sorry brother. I will really try to be better at remembering that. Also, just in the past six months or so, he's gotten really funny. He's always had a great sense of humor, but now it involves sarcasm, plays on words, hilarious mental images, and timing. I really like the young man he's growing into.
So that is just a very small drop in the bucket of the wonderful family I've gotten the chance to grow up with. I know I wasn't always the best daughter or sister, but they seemed to put up with me anyway. I know I enjoy all the time I get to spend around them, and I look forward to all the times we'll be together in the future. I love my family.