Thursday, January 1, 2015

A Quick Trip to the Coast

A well-intentioned, older family friend recently shook her head across the noise of my family and clucked at me, "I just don't know how you do it!" 

I have a hard time responding to this without getting defensive. Yeah, I get it. We are loud. We leave a trail of crumbs behind us. We fill a room with bubbles of energy until it overflows and suds cascade down the walls, drowning people who aren't used to our level of being. It's messy. We're often late. We have about a million questions a day. Someone is always hungry. And heaven forbid you should try to have an actual adult conversation with me right smack in the middle of all this.

Sometimes I feel like I need to justify us or make excuses for my kids and their kid ways. And then I catch myself.

"Are you sure you want to spend your vacation trapped in a beach house with my crazy family?" I asked Amberlee, my rock star seismologist friend who is Very Important and travels the world imparting her knowledge of all things related to earthquakes and fracking and other seismic events. 

"Yes, I'm sure. I love your crazy family," was her quick reply.

And damn it if we didn't have the best time, braving the Oregon coast at its foggiest to take the kids up Cape Perpetua. Cooking for a crowd and shaking sand from small boots and ushering everyone off to bed well past the appointed hour.

And my kids can be jerks to each other. There were some tears. A bit of seven-year-old (extra super early) pre-teen angst. It was loud and chaotic and I never once felt anything but happy.

(Brent has been on the quest to make the perfect margarita. He is close!)

There were no clucks of disapproval or raised eyebrows. My kids were kids, and everyone was just fine with that.

So the next time someone tells me that they "just don't know how I do it," I will resist the urge to look them in the eye and fire back, "Well, I don't know how you don't!" Instead I will smile. And I will take a moment to breathe in the crumbs and snot and noise and chaos. I will remember that there are many people who "love my crazy family."


  1. Yep! I love your crazy family too!

  2. Those margaritas look good!!! And have you ever tried going to Thor's Well with the kids? I'd love to get up close to it but I don't know if I am brave enough!!!