Thursday, March 13, 2008

Cousin Sighting!

I was dragging the twins through Meijer, absent-minded, tired, bedraggled. Just that day I had said to someone, "I really need a hair cut." I hadn't even tried that morning. My favorite jeans were on their third day, and starting to slip down around my waist so I had to keep hiking them up. The girl twin had on her favorite pants too - the ones she kept pulling out of the Goodwill pile. Too tight, too short, and with a belt loop dangling out where it had come un-sewed. We had just survived a trip into Walmart, a place that I diligently boycott, except when the children can't see the chalkboard anymore. Then I slink in to get cheap glasses. The boy twin's glasses were not so much of the wrong prescription, they were just worn out. The doctor looked through them and said it was more from all the scratches than from failing eyesight that he needed new ones. Plus we are constantly looking at him and seeing, beyond his cheerful face, one lens up near his eyebrow, and the other down near his chin. He gets "wrestled" at school, and each day his dad sighs and tries to straighten them out. The girl twin has hair issues, and the boy twin's morning preparation had included a wet washcloth plastered against the side of his head to get a big rooster-tail to lay down.

Yeah we were lookin' fine.

So I'm in the 2nd or 3rd aisle, and suddenly there is a commotion. Girl twin says, "Mom!" and looks behind me. Boy twin clamps a hand over her mouth. Both smile at me in expectation. I don't have enough time to put it all together when BAM! I'm grabbed from behind! I scream out loud to the delight of five children - the twins, plus three more behind me, and the sneaker, my cousin, their mom. The looks on all of their faces were priceless.

I was shocked and disoriented and laughing and I have to say I pert near wet my pants. I took it all in as we were standing, chuckling, explaining (the girls saw us enter, and they searched all around the perimeter until they found us), goodbye-ing as we went our separate ways. But these are the things that passed through my mind:

First: Did I or did I not just wet my pants?
Then: Does she ever look unkempt? Is she really always this stylish?
Then: Oh my goodness, I forgot how bad I look today.
Then: Look how each of her girls have the fronts of their hair pulled straight back like that. Why don't I do something with the girl twin's hair?

And then: My cousin and her girls ran all around this huge store looking for....


I don't know, but something changed right then. I stopped nagging the children and started loving on them. I stopped feeling like something the cat dragged in at the end of a long day, and I held my head up.

Because I knew it didn't matter to my cousin. I knew I could be a bum on the side of the road with whiskers and one tooth, and she still would have...yeah I think she still would have searched for me.

Something about family is like that. It's just cool to connect with them. To touch them. I almost think it's because we all live our own busy lives, that it is miraculous to us that one of them might take a detour just to connect. A minute to sit down and write an e-mail. A card in the mail. An invitation to a wedding. A text message. A sighting at the grocery store.


On the way out, the twins shrieked with joy as we hurtled down the sidewalk towards the car. They were running, I was pushing the full cart at top speed, head down, smile wide. We passed two old men who looked up, surprised, laughing.

Thanks Cuz.


Joann said...

That so made my heart smile. :-) And no she's not always stylish and kept. I've seen her passed out on my couch in a ripped sweatshirt and sweatpants. haha!! Love you both. My cousins.

cjs said...

I so love you.

Kelle said...

That gave me goosebumps. You are all so lucky to live so close! I'm going to Target today to find someone who can be my fake cousin. Think they'll be freaked out if I grab them like she did?
Love you! Can't wait to see you all at Molly's wedding!

Lisa Yik the Chick said...

My cousins, my heart is full!

Molly said...

Ooooh, maybe I'll stalk you this week!