My morning was full of poop. I mean that both literally and figuratively. About ten minutes after the two youngest boys and I got home from dropping Jimmy off, A.J. called to tell me that his grandmother had died. It was not a shock as she had been put on hospice a couple weeks ago and the woman had just turned 106- amazing! I am so grateful we were able to be with her for her birthday. After I talked to A.J., I did what I always do when something happens whether it is sad or joyous, I called my mom and sisters. No one was answering, but I finally got through to my sister Nikki. At the same time as I was crying and telling my sister about A.J.’s grandmother, Bart decided to take a huge poop which he had been saving up for two days- winning! Nikki asked me if I wanted her to do anything and knowing I needed some cheering up she offered to call my cell phone and leave me a voicemail that Grandma had died. While this may sound weird and twisted, it cracked me up and in order for you to understand why I need to explain as best as one can explain the offbeat sense of humor that my family has.
The end of March marks the tenth anniversary of when our grandma on my mom’s side died. I was living at my parents’ when it happened and had the sad task of helping to call everyone to let them know that grandma died. My father(Bobo to the grandkids), for those of you who don’t know him, is a big, loud guy who has been described as a bull in a china shop. He does not always have the most tact and can have a bit of a potty mouth. He has helped many of the grandchildren to expand their vocabularies- not usually intentionally… Anyways, Bobo was the one who offered to call my sister Nikki to tell her about my grandma. Nikki and her husband were out at the time, but when they got home they had this message on their answering machine: “Nikki, are you there? It’s your father! Pick up the phone! Nikki, your grandmother has died. Nikki, damnit!” click. It provided many laughs ten years ago during a very sad time for our family and to this day brings us into hysterics. Later in the morning, my sister Yvette jokingly sent me a text addressed to my full name in much the same style my father would use if he even knew how to text: “Catherine, A.J.’s grandmother has died.”
So after my initial phone calls to my family, I walked into the living room to make sure Sawyer was not busy leaving a path of destruction behind him. As I was doing this, some very strange show came on Disney with a bunch of animated potatoes who were singing “small potatoes small potatoes” and then they went on to sing something about being one big family. It is funny because after a long day like today that is what sticks in my mind, potatoes singing about family and being small potatoes. And when it comes down to it, all these minor annoyances in my day like Sawyer spitting a mouthful of water and drool on our couch and using his freshly buzzed head to clean it up, are really small potatoes. Later when I walked out to the living room from folding the same pile of laundry for the third time thanks to the boys, I found Jimmy sprawled out on the floor in only a t-shirt and his underoos laying on top of an enormous stuffed bear and stuffed penguin watching t.v. Again- small potatoes. Trying to have a sane conversation with A.J. this evening while Josie swings from his shoulders like a monkey and Sawyer repeatedly slams my leg between the kitchen cabinet door and I try to make a dent in the dishes. Small potatoes.All these small potatoes moments help me appreciate the sweet moments even more. Like this afternoon while I tried to fold laundry and Josie was talking to me about her favorite Taylor Swift songs and talked about “Purple Daughter”. After ten minutes of racking my brains I figured out which song she meant and that it has a line that says “careful daughter”. Jimmy now enjoys entertaining Bart with his karate moves, but often comes a bit too close to the baby for my comfort level. Sawyer still has the cutest toddler pudge when he hugs me tight. Unlike Jimmy who told me the other day that “Valentine’s Day is over. No more hugs and kisses!”, Sawyer freely gives me a huge hug and drooly kiss on the cheek when asked. For much of my day, I kept reminding myself of this quote on a magnet that my mom gave me a few years ago: “The best things in life are not things.” So grateful for all the “non-things” in my life! The rest is really just small potatoes.