Busy moms, life in general

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree

on April 19, 2012

I am finding this old adage to be truer every year. Kiersten is just like me, only an amped up version of me. When she was small she was painfully shy. Every weekend we would travel an hour to see her Nana, EVERY weekend. This is what that experience looked like, me prepping her” We’re leaving to go visit Nana today. Remember Nana at the lake?” “Yes. The one with Ginger(her dog)”. Despite this prepping, we would arrive to have Kiersten hide behind me hugging my legs not looking at nor speaking to her Nana. If I wore a skirt or dress, she literally crawled under it, face and hide. She might whisper something to me to say to her Nana, but no direct eye contact was made nor words spoken. My ex mother in law was never mean or frightening to Kiersten, she was just that shy. By Sunday night, Kiersten would be talking to, laughing and giggling with her Nana, having the time of her life and being sad to leave. By the next weekend, we’d be back at square one. Mind you Nana had lived near us up until a couple of years prior and saw the kids almost daily. I remember being little and not being afraid of family, but there was a lot of noise and so many of them I was overwhelmed. Being extremely shy I would wait for someone to approach me first and then talk. Like Kiersten, by the end of the visit I was totally enmeshed and sad to have to go.

When it comes to reading we are just alike as well. You can often find one of us, nose buried in a book, oblivious to all around us. This past weekend for example, Kiersten was on the couch reading a book, I called to her from the kitchen. Nothing. I came into the living room, calling her name over and over. No response. I walked up to her, put my hand on the page she was reading, she looked up bewildered, “Huh?”. I don’t know what makes us tune out so completely other than the fact that we literally get sucked into the book. My father was, and still is, the same way, so I suppose maybe it’s a family trait. Another trait inherited from my father and passed to my daughter is the art of joke telling. In our case, it’s the lack thereof. We laugh at corny jokes. We laugh at jokes no one else does. We tell a joke and are laughing so hard while telling it that we can hardly get to the punchline. By the time we do, the listener is so perplexed, or maybe they are just anticipating a better ending, they don’t laugh. I think after all our laughing they are expecting a better joke and it’s anticlimactic. Kiersten will make up jokes, and not very good ones. She’ll say to me “Get it? Because x did y?” We now have a rule, rule #1 “If you have to explain it, it’s really not funny.” I say to her often “Kiersten, rule #1.” she laughs and states the rule every time. She thinks the rule is funny. It amazes me because she talks to me about a friend of hers that tells “stupid horse jokes that no one gets and she thinks are funny” all the time. I guess she doesn’t realize we do the same thing, just not with horse jokes. There’s a lot of word play in our house too. Like she was talking about her friend and we were laughing because she came up with a joke to tell her horse-loving friend. She was going to say “Hey, did you go to CANTER-bury this weekend?” and thought the girl would laugh. She didn’t. She didn’t even get the joke, so Kiersten had to explain it. Wow. Rule #1 with a horse joke to a horse lover. Not good. Like I always reply when peple say my jokes aren’t funny, “Well, it cracked ME up!”

Kiersten is also super smart without trying.We iritate people that struggle with school work, like siblings and classmates and friends. She lives about 2 hours north of me and swears that all those “North-Counrty” people are hicks. Ever since she moved there she has complained about how they are years behind the work she did here. It’s hard on her and hard to be challenged. She is more involved in extra-curricular activities than I ever was though. She has self-confidence, which I did not at her age, and she has almost completely gotten over her shyness…unless she has to talk to a store clerk (don’t ask, I don’t know!). She has auditioned for plays, is in dance classes and done talent shows. She was recently inducted into the National Junior Honor Society  and is in her 2nd year in track, this year doing the high jump. She is beautiful, talented, smart and funny and I see her going far in life. I just hope she doesn’t have to struggle as I have. I am 35 and in Graduate school, but I wouldn’t change a thing. I have determination to see my goals through and I see that same spark in my daughter. I know she will go far in education and in her life.


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