Laugh A Little, Cry A Little, Just Keep Swimming!

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Laugh A Little, Cry A Little, Just Keep Swimming!

Ok, before I say anything else, let’s start with where the heck have I been? According to Facebook and it’s built-in guilt-trip providing insights, my followers are wondering why I haven’t been posting! The answer is far too simple I’m afraid. It’s summertime.

I have to admit this has been one of the better summers I’ve had in a while. No, we didn’t get to go on vacation. We haven’t seen anything fabulous or fantastic or amazing. We’ve seen a few cousins, hit a few family gatherings, but mostly, we’ve tried to find as many swimming holes that meet our criteria, which happens to be within an hour drive, free, and fun. So far I think we have about 5 different ones we’ve frequented.

I wish I could tell you it’s been all water holes and jars full of lightening bugs and capturing memories with my Rebel (yes, he’s definitely my best friend these days) but for every day we spent like that we had about three days of “is your room finished yet? Have you started your summer reading? It’s your turn to do the dishes! If you don’t straighten up you’re not going to visit any grandparents this weekend!” (Believe me folks, that last one was a bluff. There was a time when I never ever wanted to send a child for a weekend away, and those days are OVER!! When you have a brood this size, it’s DIVIDE and CONQUER! I finally learned the real golden rule….

Things have been surprisingly quiet. I haven’t even been posting on Facebook. I don’t think I’ve taken a break from social media since back when you generated your MySpace layout; I haven’t tweeted a thing! In fact, I lost my phone for 85% of this past weekend and I don’t think anyone really noticed. I found it in a place that leads me to believe my favorite little grand-baby must be the culprit, so I charged it, turned it on, expected a thousand notifications and nope! Nada!

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Oh well, I still had the cranky husband who was trying to figure out if he could rearrange anything in our bedroom. I wish our room could have that romantic master suite vibe, but I have all these things I can’t seem to hide out of sight- Crates of photo albums and binders of poetry and journals and when I die my kids will either cherish the heck out of them or have one helluva bonfire, and by then I won’t care which, but for now they’re sitting in the pink crate right where it bugs him.

I can’t seem to fix that right now, and he can’t fix what’s bugging me. I had a conversation with my little sister the other day. Let me just be honest. I’m apparently the bossy one. I’m the oldest. I guess I’ve spent a good 39 years giving unsolicited advice. (I’d say 40 years but even I took a year to learn to talk.) My mom says I think I’m always right. Well, duh…. Of course I am. I’m just waiting for them to all catch on…..

All kidding aside, we’ve had our ups and downs, as most siblings do, but I guess I’d say that as adults I thought there’d be more ups and really they’re have been more downs. A lot of it stems from good old fashioned personality conflicts. She’s grumpy by nature, and I’m kind of the eternal optimist… you can see where we might get on each other’s nerves, right?

She’s always been the sickliest one, in and out of the hospital so much as a baby that it was a real strain on my parents. I guess you’d say she’s had some oddball problems in her life. Twice this year she’s heard the C word. The second time it came with the word chemotherapy.

YIKES.

After our mother beat breast cancer in her early 40s I think we all started holding our breaths, waiting to see if we’d meet the Big Bad Wolf ourselves. Hers is a completely different cancer. Something rare, caused by her polycythemia. It’s a blood disorder. Long story short, she started the chemo and out went a chunk of hair, and her eyebrows.

And that’s where the story gets strange. She texted me. She asked me to make fun of her. She wanted to post a  picture, but she didn’t want the gloom and doom. She thought maybe I could kick off the “poking fun” campaign….

Yeah, that’s not really gonna work! I can just see it now. My family will be blowing up my mother’s phone. My father will be texting me. I will be officially crowned “World’s Biggest Bitch of a Big Sister”….

I like sparkles and I’d wear a crown, and I’ll own the fact that I’m a sarcastic mama, but come on, I can’t make fun of my baby sister in a time like this!

I thought about shaving my hair for her… but I just couldn’t get the razor to meet my scalp. Call me CHICKEN! Maybe I could shave my eyebrows (I could pencil them on, right?!)

I tried to write her a list of ten super sarcastic remarks, but I just couldn’t be my normally snarky self, but if you have a one-liner, throw it at us! Or maybe you have something positive to pass her way… She said to pick on her, to make her laugh, she’s tired of crying. “Raising teenagers is hard enough without considering your own mortality in the middle of it.” Those were her exact words so help me out. I just ran out of mean things to say, but let’s keep the picking mild. Remember, she’s a girl, a wildly-hormonal-heavily-medicated typically-grumpy girl, and she finally figured out her GPS, so she might drive over here and wanna discuss these comments personally if I go too far!!

Mandy

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