My second oldest child, Noah, is quite the interesting character. He has a sarcastic wit that is so quick and so biting that it takes a true master to keep up. There can be no hesitation in one’s responsive quip as it belies one’s inadequacy to compete. I have almost 30 years in with this kid and am fairly fluid and quick on my feet when it comes to his wit, but even I find it tough to keep up with him some days. Of course, I can always pull the “mother” card and roll out the eye twitch…that usually silences the room.
Thankfully, Noah is a very giving person. Without that balance in his personality his sense-of-humor would get him killed. Whenever Noah is way over the top and begging to be strangled, we step back and remember that this is the kid who would do anything for a family member or friend.
Noah always bemoans how wearing family time is on him. Each one of us has some particular thing we do that drives him crazy and when we all come together it is, according to him, an orchestrated wearing down of his patience. So on family dinners and outings after about an hour or so Noah’s patience for his crazy family starts to expire. He starts lamenting that he can only take so much “family time” and that now he will be good for quite awhile without it. Such was the case on Easter after the family Easter Extravaganza. Noah lasted for about two hours before he looked like he was going to spontaneously combust. Two hours of Cheyenne’s story telling…two hours of Sarah’s laughing…two hours of Dusty’s one-liners…two hours of Cory acting smug like a bedbug (inside joke – see this clip)…two hours of Mike trying to catch up with the years of history that go into some of the longstanding jokes and comments…two hours of me saying the type of things that make Noah roll his eyes – in total it must have felt like two hours to the sixth power.
Easter was last Sunday; as such, you would think Noah would seek a reprieve from family dinner for at least a month. One whole month to recover and mentally prepare for the next family dinner – or so you’d think. Yet, Noah called me early in the day yesterday to tell me that he had arranged a family dinner at his sister’s house for today (less than a week since Easter). The secondary story line here is that Noah has become quite good at arranging family dinners which others have responsibility for – he doesn’t wait for a family member to step up, instead he just kind of pushes you out there and dares you to say no to a family dinner event. He has gotten really good at this in an evil and manipulative kind of way.
The primary story line here though is the contradiction between Noah’s words and actions – he says we drive him crazy and he could go a good long time without seeing the eclectic collection of personalities that are his family – but he is so often the instigator of family events. The message received is that despite his protestations that we drive him crazy that he still likes to spend time with us – in short bursts. And therein lies the reconcilation of the contradiction between Noah’s words and actions – yes we drive him crazy, but all sarcastic comments aside – he loves us. But tis’ true, his upward limit for being with all of us together is about two hours…and if you’ve seen us all together you know – two hours is enough.
Day one thousand and thirteen of the new forty – obla di obla da