Once, when I was about fifteen, my family was gathered around the kitchen table eating dinner. I don’t remember what I was going to say, but what came out of my mouth was, “What if there was this really weird family . . . ”
I never got to the part where I described the really weird family I had in mind due to the raucous laughter of my family. The rest of the evening was spent swapping jokes beginning with “What if there was this really weird family” and ending with a description of us.
Like, “What if there was this really weird family who hated pizza and fought over broccoli?”
Let me tell you about my really weird family.
I’ll begin with my dad, Beezer. This is really his nickname, believe it or not. When he was in elementary school, he was one of those dweeby kids who go by their initials (he went by B.C.). Then, when his older brother read Beezus and Ramona, he decided that my dad should be Beezer.
Beezer is a nerd, known best for his bad jokes. Here’s a sample: Q: Do you know who the meanest reindeer was? A: Olive. You know, Olive, the other reindeer, used to laugh and call him names? (You’re allowed to groan here.)
He also loves to learn, so he knows about things like the American Revolution, string theory, astronomy, birdwatching, and computers. When I think about him, I picture him sitting at the dinner table and teaching us all about something that would expand our brains.
My mama has no nickname that I know of, so I guess I’ll just call her Mama. She’s a country girl living in the city. She can start a fire with one match because she lived in northern British Columbia on a farm as she was growing up, sometimes at homes with no electricity or running water. Farming left Mama unable sleep past 5:30 a.m. except on very rare occasions. It also left her with a strong work ethic and a frugal attitude toward money. She can sniff out an unbelievable bargain or garage sale almost as easily as a wolf hound can sniff out a . . . wolf. In fact, she bought the crib, changing table, baby swing, and “jolly jumper” pictured in Jon Boy’s blog at garage sales for under $50 combined. I really don’t know where she finds these things, but I ain’t complaining. Mama is also even shorter than I am. The fact that I’m taller than she is almost consoles me when I realize that all my younger siblings will be taller than me.
I’m the oldest child, and since I think you know who I am, I’ll skip on to my sister, Kenner.
Kenner is my best friend in the world. I’ve had other wonderful, dear friends, but Kenner is my sister, so she gets me in a way that other friends just don’t. Kenner is a nursing student at BYU, so she is prone to asking close friends and family if she can take their blood pressure or find their pulse or examine the veins on their arms or even poke them with needles. She is a conscientious student and a bread addict. Luckily for her, she is also an excellent baker of bread, so she can satisfy her cravings when they hit.
Fly Boy is my brother, and yes, he can fly. Planes, that is. He is also very social and is popular with the ladies. Unlike many social and popular-with-the-ladies guys, he is very interesting and funny to talk to. He is a freshman at BYU, and he can’t decide what to do with his life, but last I heard, he wanted to go into law. Eh, he’s young, and he’s going on his mission soon, so he’s got time to think about it some more.
Also, if you know Fly Boy, watch out. He’s a mean prankster. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Kenner and Fly Boy are both submitting their mission papers on Wednesday and will be leaving sometime this summer. I can’t wait to find out where they’re going, but I will miss them both a LOT.
My next brother, Mr. Brown, has always known who he was and what he wanted. He commonly calls unfair when it’s needed (Kenner, Fly Boy, and I are all too passive to do something that would make waves . . . or even ripples). He is also a good enough debater that he would have a very promising career in law, except that I can’t really see him doing that.
He is a talented piano and guitar player, and he has a wonderful smile. He is sixteen and shaping up into a Really Good Kid.
Last but not least is my youngest sister, Amelia. Amelia was an unexpected baby, but I’m not sure what our really weird family would do without her. Probably get so nerdy we’d self-destruct.
Amelia loves reading, horses, reading, fashion, piano, and reading. She and Mr. Brown were constantly bickering until everyone else moved out of the house to go to BYU, at which point they decided to become good friends. They have composed several songs together (her on piano and him on guitar), which I think is cool.
Amelia has the distinction of being the one person who reminds me most of myself as a child. It’s really unnerving, actually. Especially when she pulls a totally not-Brinestone move like learning how to dress herself, do her hair, and wear her makeup so that she looks beautiful and put together. I still haven’t figured how to look grood.
So that’s the seven of us. As far as families go, we’ve avoided the worst forms of dysfunction (and for that I’m truly grateful).
(And, Cicada, I’m sorry to rip you off. It was a good idea, okay?)