Do you ever have conversations with family that just stand out? The ones where you look back on them, smile, and then laugh...
I have an awesome family, and I like to think we're pretty entertaining at times. Well, I'm sure they find me at least entertaining at times. My father was pretty quick witted, while my mother put up with all of us. My brother, Chris, and I are both adopted and not blood related at all, though many don't believe it since we look so similar in photographs; we've known this all of our lives so this isn't a big secret in our family. In fact, my brother and I have often joked that it's probably a good thing we're not blood related to some of our family members (I, of course, don't mean the ones who are currently reading this). My brother blessed me with a nephew 13 years ago. Wesley is the light of my life and I would do just about anything for that kid (except move back to the US as he often likes to remind me). So, when I go home to visit, I stay with my mum and spend tons of time with her (she can't get rid of me--I am her shadow, especially this last visit due to being sick), Chris, and Wesley. My visit last December provided me with three standout conversations that pretty much sum up our sense of humor and how we are with one another. I've also added a fourth conversation since it is related to #3.
Conversation #1: A Hallmark Zinger
While I am usually home for the holidays, I tend to binge Hallmark. I don't get it overseas and find I need a dose of holiday romance cliches by the time I land in the US. My mum will usually see me watching one of these movie and say, "Oh, I saw this one. It's cute." Sometimes, she'll sit down and watch the rest, too.
Allow me to set the scene: my mum and I were watching a new Hallmark movie. The main actress was boarding a flight and sat in an aisle seat. Across the aisle was someone she knew from when she was younger. They were both flying home to spend Christmas with their families. As the flight attendant was walking through the aisle, the actress pulled out a bag of cookies and chocolates from her carry-on and offered it as a thank you. The attendant was touched and brought her a pair of headphones from First Class to use during the flight.
Thinking this was an excellent idea because I do travel a few times a year (pre-pandemic), I thought out loud, "Huh, that's a nice idea. Maybe I should try that some time."
My mother, who has been quietly lounging in her recliner for the past half hour, decides to pipe up with, "Try what? Being nice. You should see how that works out for you."
Conversation #2: My Brother
My brother and I were sitting on the couch together after dinner one evening. My mother was in her recliner. I believe we were watching another Hallmark movie at the time (we have to limit the Hallmark movies we watch with Chris because he gets a smidge emotional with them and then I have to make fun of him since he's the sensitive one out of us and then we argue and then my mother gets peeved with us...hence the limited Hallmarks). Chris turned to me and told me he was really glad I was home (it had been a year due to travel restrictions).
Touched, I patted his back and said, "Aw, thanks, Chris. I love you, too."
He turns and smiles. It's a nice moment...until I said, "You've always been my favorite brother."
He snorts and replied, "Heather, I am your only brother."
I snort louder, shrugged my shoulders, and return with, "That we know of."
Needless to say, it was a true Hallmark moment.
Conversation #3: Singing
So, I love to sing. I would have totally gone to Broadway as an actress if I could sing and dance. I just can't do either very well; okay, I suck at both. My singing has been compared to the sound a cat makes when being run over multiple times (apologies to the cat lovers here). Growing up, I was banned from singing in the house (I didn't listen and sang anyway most of the time). I was even told to lip sync in choir once. I haven't allowed this untalent to stop me, though, from belting out some tunes. I mean, seriously, some songs you just can't ignore.
One afternoon, my mother and I were picking up Wesley from his mother's house. I was in the passenger seat DJing the satellite radio, Mum was chauffeuring us, and Wesley was in the back. Suddenly, Whitney Houston's Greatest Love of All came on. How could I not take part?
I started singing, of course. I'm in the middle of the chorus, "The greatest love of..." when I hear howling coming from the temperamental kid in the back. I give him a look of feigned annoyance. He continues his howling. Finally, I say in my most adult-aunt voice, "Wesley, stop the howling. You're going to ruin the song."
As I open my mouth for another shot at killing (literally) the chorus, I hear him go, "What the heck do you think YOU'RE doing?"
I couldn't even get mad because I knew he was right.
Conversation #4: Singing...Again
I was fortunate to be able to travel home this last summer holiday to see my beautiful family. When I'm home, I usually only have a few places and meals that are nonnegotiable, but the others I let my mum pick. She loves the Cheesecake Factory, so we took the boys there one night. Outside the restaurant, they play music on loudspeakers. While we were leaving, a Maroon 5 song came on. Now, I admit, I did want to sing out loud, but out of respect for all surrounding people and windows, I decided to just sing in my head.
All of a sudden, my brother says, "Heather, seriously. Stop singing." Before I could ask what he was talking about, Wesley admits to being the one singing. Chris apologizes profusely to Wesley. The kid shrugs it off.
I turn to Wesley and say, "If I were you, I would sort of be insulted." Wesley pats me on the shoulder and says, "MeHeather, I was insulted but thought I'd keep that to myself."
I'm thankful for these nuts--I mean valuable members of my life. Without them, I just wouldn't be me.