Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Family Ties

My kids get their good looks from their dad. Their big brown eyes, blondish hair, and giant, winning smiles all scream, "Bil is my daddy!" One friend even went so far as to ask me if I was in the room when the kids were conceived. Looks-wise, they didn't inherit much from me, save the boys' wide feet.

Still, I think my kids have definitely inherited some of my traits, such as my bad temper, my intolerance for perky people first thing in the morning, my sweet tooth, and my propensity for tripping over a dust mite.

There is one positive trait, though, that my kids have that I take some credit for. It's their goofy sense of humor and exuberance for life. Bil, of course, deserves credit, as well; this is one gene we contributed equally, I think.

Bil and I have always been nerdy. And we aren't afraid to get excited about things. We both know we aren't cool, so we have no reason to pretend we are and act aloof or dispassionate. Sure, we may look like idiots when we are dancing around our family room, but who cares?

When Bil and I were dating, we spent much of our time having picnics, riding our bikes, taking walks in the rain, and making homemade ice cream (we made up some really cool flavors, too). We cooked up strange meals and wrote each other crazy emails filled with inside jokes. We watched kids' cartoons together. Bil even designed a pie with my picture on it made entirely from black, grey and white M&Ms.

Seriously, we are totally weird.

My kids have inherited our sense of adventure and goofiness. They get super excited about all kinds of great things, like going for a ride in the wagon, looking for pumpkins on people's doorsteps in the Fall, and passing school buses on the way home from school. They spent much of December and January staging concerts for us, performing Muppets and Charlie Brown carols with their maracas and castanets. They sang "The 12 Days of Christmas" loudly, joyfully, and dissonantly multiple times a day. In the summer, they dress up in snowsuits and hats and build snowmen out of pillows and blankets, and in the winter, they don their swimsuits and jump into lakes filled with couch cushions. And they love every minute of it.

If they see a caterpillar, Danny and Charlotte will be totally entranced and talk of nothing else until they happen to spy something else fascinating. Last night, the kids were spellbound in the living room when they spied a rabbit in our front yard. They concocted a whole genealogy and life history of this rabbit, who we then spent many minutes naming. The kids came up with all kinds of great names, and then we dissolved into giggles when someone suggested we name him "Puppy." Thus ensued a game of picking the silliest name for our little bunny.

I know that these types of silly games are normal for kids. That's what makes childhood so great. Still, I do believe my kids have a level of enthusiasm that is special; not all kids are as excited to see two geese with their six goslings as we did today on the way home from Meals on Wheels. Not all kids' faces light up when I suggest making and decorating sugar cookies. The excitement my kids show for so many everyday activities, like going to the swimming pool or the library is wonderful. And their ability to be silly and laugh at crazy things is a tremendous gift.

I like to think that Bil and I have contributed to this gift and that we encourage the kids to cultivate it. That maybe we set a good example for the kids when we play hide and seek with them or when we laugh at their crazy jokes and join in. Or when we tease them--as we so often do--by suggesting we make broccoli ice cream or meatloaf cake.

Let's just hope they don't morph into straight-faced, eye rolling teenagers anytime soon.


For more posts about family ties, visit the Spin Cycle.


Bettie K. said...

Not a chance---those personalities are here for the long run. You truly have a house filled of love and creativity. And I have little doubt that your "genes" played a huge role in that. Do you remember that inflatable ice cream cake my mom sent me during our Freshman year of college? It was your idea to put duct tape on it and stick it on the inside of the door so when people came it would hit them upside the head :)

Sprite's Keeper said...

Nope, I think they will both turn out like you and Bil, which is great since the world needs more of you in it!
John is the same way, he allows himself to get excited to the point of Sprite excitement, cheering and running all over the house in happy chaotic joy with her while I tend to be more reserved about it. I wish I could be more like them sometimes. :-)
You're linked!

Alysia said...

I love reading your posts! What an upbeat story to read on this rainy mopey day around here. My kids get incredibly excited when they get to take a bath instead of shower - what a small thing but they get so worked up! thanks for sharing!

Maureen@IslandRoar said...

Aw, nerds are always the most fun genuine people. And make the best parents. If I do say so as a nerd myself. Your kids sound wonderful. I love families whose kids do shows. Our fireplace area has always been our family stage.

viewfromdownhere said...

I love it! Personally, my fiance' and I are both nerds, and nerds are the best kind of people. No reason to put on any show or be fake because you just are who you are, and that's the way it should be!

VandyJ said...

Goofy senses of humor reign at our house too. Kids just give you a reason to let them run free.

Unknown said...

Even if the kids get moody in their teens, they should still have that sense of humor they inherited from their parents.

I get my humor from my mom and my sense of occasion from my dad. I never realized it until I was much older. But still, I know I'm my parent's child.

Great spin,

Ginny Marie said...

Your house sounds like a lot of fun!

I'm really hoping the eye-rolling teens never come to live here, but I think it's inevitable!

bernthis said...

I too have little tolerance for perky people especially in the morning.

I think you guys sound like an amazing family.

Mrsbear said...

That a wonderful trait to pass on. I love it when my kids get enthusiastic about stuff, they don't get it from me. Now teenage apathy is right up my alley. Sadly. Hopefully it'll skip the other 3, my 15 year old? Is all me. Hope you're spared the eye-rolling. Your house sounds like so much fun! And yes, perky morning people should be exiled to a perky morning people island colony somewhere in the middle of the Pacific...