Brothers Through Trick and Treat

I awoke in the middle of the night to hear Collin crying out for me:  "Mom!  Mom.  Mommy-eee-eee.  I'm soooo sick."  Poor kid has been running a fever and completely wiped since Sunday night (it's Friday morning). So I rushed in, gave him some love and assurance, and hustled downstairs to retrieve another dose of medicine.  It was 2:33 a.m.

Then I heard:  "MOM!!  I'm going to be sick!!"  I "quietly" shouted as I raced back up the stairs:  "I'm on my way!"  But - quite thankfully - Owen had beat me there.  He was standing before his brother, holding the puke bucket as it slowly filled, and saying things like, "It's going to be ok, Collin.  You'll feel better soon.  I'm right here for you." (I love the way they care for each other.  Seriously.  The very best.)

When he was done, Collin looked up at us and said, "This is going to ruin everything.  We're going to miss Halloween" (which is in three days).
 Vampire Collin ~ Halloween 2010
 Batman Owen ~ Halloween 2010

Owen responded:  "Don't worry, Collin.  You won't miss out totally.  I'll carry two bags and get candy for you."

Ladies Man (er, Boy)

Me:  Did you have fun at school today?
Owen:  Totally!  Well, except at recess.  I mean, it was soooo good, Mom.  We were playing soccer, and I was doing moves and, yeah.  The boys were cool.  But then the girls wanted to play - and we said yes - but then ... the girls were mean to me.
Me:  What do you mean?
Owen:  They kicked the ball to me, missed, it hit me in the stomach like "ugh," then they came chasing after me!
Me:  That might be because they they like you.  Maybe they think you are fun and cute, and they are trying to get your attention.
Owen:  That is DEFINITELY not it.  They ATTACKED ME!

*I suddenly had flashbacks of my early elementary years.  I owe apologies to Leif and Chad.


Inspiring Laughter

"Your kids just KNOW how to have fun!!"

To this day (and perhaps I should knock on wood), I have yet to hear my kids complain of boredom or sit and pout or be "debbie downer."  But I had't given it much thought until I heard from another:  "Your kids just KNOW how to have fun!!"

That got me thinking ...

When I had children, I had a list of attributes I wanted to be sure I imparted to my children to the best of my abilities.  It included many basics ~ like manners, academic foundation and drive, a sense of responsibility, empathy, sportsmanship, a humble heart.  I never thought to include:  Kevin's quirky, dry sense of humor or the way I can almost always have fun and inspire fun ... while doing almost anything!  Luckily, it's true that children learn from our modelled behavior.  And thankfully, we aren't missing the mark in inspiring our children!  (Yay, Us!)
Owen is our natural clown.  Within his circle, he'll go out of his way to make others laugh.  He'll fall on the floor for Eli (cracks E up); he'll run into a wall or have slippery hands when catching for Kate and Collin; he'll make silly faces from across the way for me (my favorite and definitely among his trademarks); he'll burp and give it a shout-out for his dad (really?  why is this funny?!).  But more than a funny man, he's also a lover and a truly happy kid.  So long as he has freedom to move (to run or jump or kick something!), he is happy anywhere!  And he has a smile that inspires others to smile with him!
Collin is hilarious!  When he tries to be funny, what's funny is the act of him trying!  (Like in the pic above - hillarious moment!)  But when he's not trying, he can crack anyone up out of the blue with his unexpected candor!  He's so serious and so literal in his day to day chatter that his off-the-wall comments, so simple and true, are fantastically funny!  At school, friends recognize his positivity and focus and gravitate to him, seeking his company and good humor.
At least once a week one of Kate's teachers will stop me to comment on and share a story of Kate's sharp, witty, sometimes sarcastic humor.  She has a different inside joke with almost everyone.  She has invented "tinko" or "teeko" (not quite sure) ~ "it's this way, and that way" "the way you cut my sandwich" (into four squares) "it's Collin" "you're teeko!"  "no I'm teeko!"  "no teeko is this way and that way; you can't be teeko!"  The girl can flip anything into a joke, then flip back to serious quickly; but for her sly smile in peek-a-boo moments, you might be tricked into thinking you maybe didn't even hear the joke to begin with or that she didn't realize that she was even joking!  She's a hoot!  And speaking of hooting, the girl is soooo loud!  She sings loud, she laughs loud, she talks loud ... and then she whispers in her squeaky voice (so annoying but I'm growing fond of it, nonetheless).  She can look at a room and immediately find the fun in it ~ no matter what!  Everyone wants to play with Kate!
And then there's Eli, whose personality we are just getting to truly know.  He is a charmer!  If we're too quiet (like playing a card game or watching a show), he'll suddenly laugh out loud (at nothing in particular!) or start clapping enthusiastically and glancing around at us or throw his hands in the air dramatically to get our attention (started the wave at grandma's last weekend!).  His actions, so cute and so pointed, remind me that I am so fortunate to have the sounds of laughter bouncing off our walls.

Go Cougs!

There is nothing better than good friends.  And I am blessed with many.  Saturday night almost ALL of my best Cougar friends reunited after 10+ years for a fabulous time!  It was amazing to see how much the group has grown - and so richly!  We've added spouses, kids, friends, and family to our once small group of college kids!  To the few of you that couldn't make it, you were missed!!!
Mel, Chad, Mike, Andrew, Eleni, John, Matt, Deb, Jen, Bryan
Kevin, Jenny, Steve, Jason, Dawn
I loved meeting some of their kids and hearing about the others!  And I loved listening to stories about their lives, their loves, their careers, their hobbies.  It was inspiring to see how much we've all grown - and yet how our friendships remain unchanged.  I hope it's not another many years before we're all together as a group again, but even if it is, I know we'll always be the very best of friends!  Go Cougs!