Growing up with two sisters, I always wondered how three people living in the same house, with the same parents, with the same life experiences could be so different. I hated when a single blade of grass stuck to my foot; my middle sister ate mud. I liked my room neat as a pin; my youngest sister’s room smelled like hair and guinea pigs. Probably because so many were lost under the piles of dirty clothes over the years that they started their own little rebel colony.
Basically… I was awesome and they sucked.
Luckily once they got older they got some skills and everything came full circle. Two words – adult braces. Vengeance is sweet, my friends. Very very sweet.
And now, as my three girls are starting to get older, I see each of their different personalities starting to emerge. Last Friday I took the two eldest to a media preview day at the botanical garden and they were like night and day.
After a few minutes of playing together they both ran in different directions and I took a vantage point high on a bridge where I could keep an eye on each of them.
To look at Ellie in a social situation you would think she is miserable. Quiet, observant, looking a little uncomfortable and lonely. Basically a carbon copy of me. Minus the stretchmarks and cellulite in places god didn’t intend.
I know I know – you wouldn’t believe it but I’m actually an introvert. Anxious in large groups, only comfortable after a few glasses of social lubrication. Happy to be out but content on the sidelines. Until the crowd starts chanting “THRILL-ER! THRILL-ER! THRILL-ER!” and I know it’s time to give the people what they want.
To anyone watching, Ellie looks sad. But having been there before, I know she’s in her comfort zone.
Then we’ve got Lila. After a minute and a half she was forming a rock band with every kid she could round up on the slide.
Any time she was out of my line of sight I would listen for the little voice yelling, “come on guys!” and I knew she was okay. By the time we left she had 22 phone numbers and had been elected president of the glee club.
I’m just as baffled as I was when I was little. Same house. Same parents. Same life experiences. Different as night and day. One freaking out because her sleeves are touching her wrist; one running naked through the yard.
And I love it. Each day they reveal something new about themselves, and I feel like I’m getting to know someone who will one day be my best friend. After they put me through hell, and I pray every night they don’t get pregnant or strung out on drugs and run away from home and I have to call Jeff from Intervention because they’re living in a crack house and lost all their perfect teeth that I took a second job to pay for, we’ll be best friends.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that everything always comes back to braces.
The botanical garden is open 9am – 5pm daily; admission is $4 for adults and children 12 and under are free. Adults are also free on Saturday mornings before noon. The children’s garden is $5 for non members ages 3-12 and free for adults. Also free on Saturdays before noon!