|Adam snapped this picture at my grandma's house. There's me in the dashing red velvet vest, Marianne rocking a Dorothy Hamill haircut. Cute Olivia and Enoch are on the bottom and Tabor is in the middle, looking like a baby blob.|
Every evening we were in Nevada, most of us had dinner together. Big communal dinners. One was hosted by Marianne, one by Olivia, one by my mom and one by Wendy's. (The fast food restaurant. We don't have a family member named Wendy but we were in town for Clarissa's play.)
I loved the dinners.
I was at Olivia's house the afternoon that dinner was set to be at Marianne's. I fell asleep on her couch (my sisters' couches are supremely comfortable). Adam and Olivia were having a (riveting) discussion about grammar. Seriously. Olivia's children were milling around and I was deeply deeply asleep. That is, until Olivia remembered with a loud gasp that she was supposed to take bread sticks to Marianne's. She scared the living daylights out of me because I was sure one of her children was in peril. I think I aged three years in that moment.
At Marianne's the kids that were there participated in a talent show. There was singing and dancing and violin playing and guitar playing and flute playing and a lot of the piano.
Charlotte showed off her newly mastered walking skills. We all clapped.
When the dinner was at my parents' house, I was clearing the table and walked by Enoch, who was leaning back in his chair. "Four on the floor," I said in my best motherly, teacher-ish, big sister voice.
He ignored me.
I gently pushed his shoulders down so he'd have to sit the right way (it works with my primary children).
Then I not so gently pushed his shoulders.
Then I pushed his shoulders as hard as I could.
Then I gave up and let him lean back in his chair. (Enoch: don't come crying to me if you fall over and bump your head. I tried.)
At Olivia's, the four siblings in attendance...
|(we missed you Tabor and Ammon!)|
...were sitting across the table from each other. We were being loud and obnoxious and laughing a whole lot. For some reason we started talking about driving and who amongst us were the best drivers. It was an undisputed fact that Enoch and Ammon topped the list. (Tabor was automatically disqualified because he drove in Salt Lake City without his lights on. Olivia was also automatically disqualified because she is not a good driver. She has other talents...)
I maintained I was a better driver than Marianne and she enthusiastically denied my claim. Adam, my soul mate, my in-sickness-and-in-health husband, started supplying times when I was not a good driver. (Whose side are you on anyway, Adam?)
The conversation turned to how Ammon is good at everything. Maybe the best at everything. As we talked on about his perfectness, my mom, who always strives for none of her children to feel superior or inferior to each other, said that he wasn't very artistic.
You've got to love my mom, throwing out random and mostly inaccurate criticisms of one of her children so the rest of us don't feel too bad.
Braeden had asked my mom earlier in the week which of her children was most independent and she had said Ammon. Compared to him, the rest of us are needy and codependent. Enoch slammed his plastic cup on the table in jest and said, "Well, we don't need him." That made us all laugh because 1) Enoch broke the cup and 2) if anyone needs Ammon, it's Enoch who has been known to call him late at night in the rain to come and help him get bales of hay off the freeway because the load Enoch was hauling lost some of its contents.
So none of us deny how much we admire our youngest brother but I think we all win.
We have each other.