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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Running on Empty, But Still Running

So November has been a crazy month for me and my family. Some days it seems like there is no end in sight of the craziness we have been experiencing. Between lots of traveling, family deaths, attempting to sell the house in this crappy housing market, holidays, and family feuds, I'm suprised we are all still standing. The poor kids have been pulled in 20 different directions and Doug and I feel like we're about to fall over from exhaustion, both physically and mentally. But here we are, still going. I find myself amazed at what we can actually handle. I know a few years ago, I never would have even tried to do everything we have done this month, but my family seems to give me this strength, this drive and endurance that helps me push on. My family is certainly my life and I thank God every day for each of them.

Doug, my husband, is my rock. He's so strong. Very smart. And funny. He can take the saddest situation and make it comical, in an appropriate kind of way. I think this is what first attracted me to him. I love to laugh and he could always make me laugh. His family relies on him to be funny in bad situations too. I would think that this would create a lot of pressure for him, but he always appears to be cool. At his grandmother's funeral this week, his mom asked him to say something. Of course, he added humor, which is what the situation really needed. I actually find him so funny that it's one of my daily ambitions to make him laugh. I am one of those kind of people who is not really funny, but I try very hard. And every once in a while I come out with a gem. Although I think I'm becoming funnier by osmosis. I'm learning from the master.

And then there are my kids. My angels, well, more like clowns. Charlie and Elizabeth are funny too. And they don't even try, they are just naturally funny and don't even know it. Charlie is definitely the clown in the circus who is always unsuspectingly falling on the banana peel. The other night, for instance, I was putting this thick cream on a spot of eczema on Charlie's arm after his bath. He wanted to try, so he stuck his finger in the jar, pulled out some cream, and held it up. I could tell he was unsure of where to put this cream, so I told him just to rub it in anywhere. My assumption here was that he would put it on his hands or his stomach, or even his feet. Nope. He chose his nipple! Imagine this 4-year-old rubbing lotion on his nipples. So innocent! I was so caught off guard that I could not stop laughing, and then from laughing so hard, began to cry. He didn't quite get why I was laughing, but he was happy that he made me happy. Elizabeth, on the other hand, is the clown who plants the banana peel for someone to slip on. She knows how to get reactions from people, which for an older kid would not be amusing, but for a 16-month-old, this normally turns out to be very funny to Doug and I, but not so much Charlie because he is normally the butt of the "prank".

Laughter, it keeps me going and I am very grateful to be a part of this circus. I compare my family to a circus because a very wise (and also extremely funny) person once warned me that having a second child is like being in a circus. Now, Bob is probably one of the smartest people I know, but I didn't believe him for a second (no offense, Bob!). So, of course, I had to see for myself. It wasn't so bad until Elizabeth started walking this past summer. The day she started to walk, I heard in the distance the sound of circus music and the faint sound of Bob's laughter. That's when I knew. I knew Bob was right and we were doomed. And to this day, I hear that music when the bedroom doors open in the morning and the clowns emerge from their dressing rooms. I know a day of laughter and craziness is ahead.