Have you noticed that day three of any trip is when people wake up with a case of the crankies? Our big obnoxious Catholic family is no exception.
I whine, “I wanted my egg ON TOP of my french toast,” at my brother who is kind enough to cook breakfast-to-order for all sixteen of us each morning.
My sister is out of sorts because her towels are missing and she’s certain one of us is hiding them from her. And, yet, when she tries to make me feel better because I’m missing my kids, I snap, “Can’t you just let me feel bad?”
My older brother is out of sorts because we’re all at the beach already and he can’t find us. “You’re directions suck!” he says. I lay the phone down and make him wait for five minutes while I slowly locate his son who knows how to talk “man” directions.
My younger brother is out of sorts because he wants us to play by the rules of the games and the rest of us want to make them up. “You know, Anne Lamott has this great saying – W.A.I.T. = Why Am I Talking?” I say to him not realizing that I’m the one who should be taking the advice.
And yet, here we all are, a few hours later crammed around a dinner table eating mounds of spaghetti, laughing and telling goofy stories about ourselves.
We’re like a reality show for the bipolar set. We wonder why in the hell we ever decided to plan a vacation together and in the next moment say, “You know, next time we should try upstate New York.”
I’ve spent a lot of time wondering what it is about my sister, brothers and I that make us stick together when other families grow apart. After all we’ve had disasters that would have blown most families sky high – deaths, tragedies, more deaths – and it only seems to draw us closer. Personally, I think we’re all survivors of PTSD, but I’m not actually a doctor so I can’t be sure.
I have to go now because even though I got so mad at everyone for not guessing my Catch Phrase word last night I didn’t talk for thirty minutes, a new game is starting and I don’t want to miss it.