While we were out this morning, we drove by the brand new City Market that just opened up over by our mall. Our family is very excited about this new store and its close proximity to our home. I am a Kroeger-gal and I love that I will have "my" store just a mere two miles away. As it is, I have been driving past two other other grocery stores on my 10 minute drive to the nearest City Market. I'm just a tad bit loyal. :)
We have been anticipating this store ever since we saw the first bulldozer clearing the lot. But I didn't realize just how much enthusiasm I had passed on to my brood until we were driving by this morning. We saw the giant balloons and the banners announcing the Grand Opening ... and the thousand cars in the parking lot. I squealed happily, "Yeah! It's open!" That's when Ashley announced from the back seat, "I'm just so happy, I have tears in my eyes!" Oh my ... that's true happiness!
I had to laugh because she is just like her mommy ... no, I didn't cry with happiness at the sight of the "Open" sign ... but I do get teared up when my heart is super-happy. That got me thinking about all the other "things" that I have gifted my kids ... the "things" I can't buy at a store.
I have given my Norah the gift of the nervous nelly-belly. Whenever I am faced with a new experience or if I am going to be in front of a lot of people, my stomach gets flippy-floppy like there is a herd of zebras galloping through my insides. And so does Norah.
I have gifted my kids with the need to process their fear, stress, worry, happiness, frustration, excitement, joy and uncertainty all through tears. If something is at all close to our hearts, you can bet that there will be some tears involved. Brett is wonderfully accepting of this wet and sniffly way of working through the woes of life and he rolls with having five high-emotion folks living under his roof. I'm certain the girls are priming us for the teen years ... is it physically possible to have more emotions to battle?!? But even sweet Aaron wears his heart on his sleeve when he's working through something ... his heart and some snot, usually. :)
I have given my Lydia the need to wind-down at night. I like to read a bit before turning off the light and drifting off to dream-land. Lydia likes to yak it up with Ashley, kick the wall, spin in her bed, re-organize her covers and make crazy sound-effects. Once she's finally spent her last little bit of energy, she sleeps until morning. Whatever it takes, I guess.
In the same way, I have given my kids the "slow to wake up" gift. They might be walking downstairs or cuddled on the couch, but they are only 58% awake. They will only truly be awake and functioning after several minutes ... until then they will mumble, stare off into space and burrow into the pillows. Me, as a grown-up, choose to do this in the privacy of my own bed. They don't mind looking like sleepy zombies.
I have given my Aaron the (unfortunate) gift of "gotta laugh ... and run!" If either of us get the giggles while at the same time having full bladders - watch out! Or at least don't get in our way as we scream, squeal and scoot to the nearest bathroom. Poor kid.
I have given both Ashley and Norah the inability to separate themselves from the emotions portrayed on the silver screen. We feel deeply and passionately right along with Cindy Lou Who, Belle and the losers from the Amazing Race. If someone is crying on screen, you can almost bet that one of us is crying, too. And when something scary happens, we hide: me, behind my hands; the girls, behind the stairs.
I have given my kids my affinity for all things salty ... they love chips, crackers, popcorn and pretzels. If it is crunchy and has salt on it, we will eat it. I'm waiting for the first time I see one of my kids stuff their salty, crunchy chips into their sandwich ... then I'll know that the salty-gift has fully matured.
I have given my gift of gab to Ashley and Aaron. I have this lovely habit of yakking with perfect strangers. This typically happens at restaurants when I go over-board with the wait-staff. In my case, I don't just say, "Yes, I'd like a glass of water." Instead I say, "Yes, I'd love a glass of water. I am just parched. I don't think I've had anything to drink all afternoon. Blah, blah, blah ..." I've also been known to trade cough remedies with the Wal-mart checker and lament the change in weather with the pharmacist. In the same way, Aaron once showed off his new tooth-gap with a diner at IHOP (lovely breakfast view, I'm sure!) complete with a re-telling of how he lost his tooth. And Ashley recently informed an employee at the grocery store that she "just started gymnastics and her teacher Miss Jess helped her to do a pull-over on the low bar." And she, "wore her leotard that she got for birthday ... the pink one with the tu-tu." TMI :)
This last gift is apparently a legacy that has been handed down from generations past. I remember my Nana giving waaay too much information to the waitress stopping by to take our order. My sister and I both tease my mom about sharing too many details with the lady at the check-out. I have already confessed to being a bit too friendly with perfect strangers. And now I see first-hand my children chatting with people at Target and telling them how excited they are for the new Lego sets to come out. It's definitely genetic!
I guess this proves that many of our quirks and peculiarities can be found in our DNA - ready to be passed down to unsuspecting generations down the line. I wonder who will be the lucky recipient of my penchant for peanut-butter and pickle sandwiches ... lucky duck! :)