We were taking one of our first big outings as a family of three (soon to be four). At the time, our son Owen was a very opinionated 1 year old. He was cute as could be but the volume of his “talking” had us politely removed from a number of places. Well, this particular outing was important to me because we were going with my mother-in-law. She is the most kindhearted and brilliant woman. She is the only person I know that can be surrounded by chaos and still have it all together. Being the cultured and worldly woman she is, we knew she would enjoy going to the museum. So, with my hormones and anxiety at an ultimate high, we packed up for what was going to be an eventful day.
Owen is the most adorable, bipolar, 30 pound dictator. A perfect storm; and we were going to willingly walk into a place full of things he couldn’t touch, couldn’t climb on and couldn’t care less about. A place where he had to stay calm, cool and collected. As we were nearing the end of the adventure, I could see the clouds starting to circle above his head. The urge to destroy something was outweighing his desire to impress Grandma with good behavior. I decided it would be best if I took Owen on a little walk. As we were walking, I started to reason with the man. I got down on his level and looked deep into his big blue eyes and said, “Owie, can you do mommy a favor? Can you just….can you just….keep your $#!% together?” He gave me a big hug and kiss and with a smile said, “Yes, mommy I can.” From that moment the family motto was born.
Now, I understand what some of you may be thinking. What an inappropriate family motto! As one kid turned into two and we face our fears of family outings, we learned it applies to so many situations. The grocery store, visits to family and friends’ houses, the park, bedtime, heck it even applies to parenting and adulthood. How many times could this little phrase have saved you in your adult life? It works for us. Our family is not perfect, but we are full of love, laughter and life. Our life is fun, at times embarrassing and always honest…and there’s nothing more entertaining than that.
So, I urge you to follow the family motto and laugh along with us.