Tonight we spent some family time watching home movies from our family vacation to Colorado, Utah and Yellowstone in 2001. It never ceases to amaze me how little my kids have changed in the ten years that have passed since that favorite trip. Yes, they have definitely matured during that time – but their personalities are much the same.
Greg was the narrator for much of the video. I’m still surprised by how much of a Southern accent he had back then. I guess I never really noticed it as he was growing up, but boy was it obvious in retrospect! He still speaks quite slowly; he was a little embarrassed watching, probably because his girlfriend was enjoying the home movies along with us – but I thought it was cute. It’s just part of what makes him Greg and yet another thing to love about him. You could tell he felt important because he was given the responsibility of taking the video. He was sure to tell us what amazing sights we were looking at and would zoom in on the names of the various geysers, springs and mudpots in Yellowstone. I’m grateful he provided those important aspects, so that now, 10 years later, we would know what we were looking at! He was the obvious oldest child – reprimanding a younger sibling for saying something silly, hiking in the hundred something degree heat through Arches National Park with his 1 year old brother on his back, complimenting me by taking a picture of me and mentioning my weight loss – yes, I was struggling with weight even back then.
Then there was Mark! Questions, questions, and more questions! Obnoxious noises followed by even more questions. His dad repeating the same thing over and over and over again to him, until he finally complied. Let’s see: spitting in the hot springs to see if his spit would boil; taking a stick and “writing” in these bacterial deposits in Yellowstone, despite signs warning to leave the natural habitat undisturbed! Curious and destructive! Hmmmm, wonder how New York City and its inhabitants are faring! But I love him like crazy and miss him terribly right now.
Lindsay was the boss, well kind of. I think she and Mike were competing for that job. Should I be even slightly surprised? She wasn’t bossy in a mean sort of way, which did actually surprise me a little. She would just tell people what they were supposed to be doing. Ummm, she still does that. She was tough as nails, doing whatever her big brothers were attempting, but there she was playing with the little ones and making sure they were safe! That’s my Lindz! Gotta love her too! And something else that I noticed – she was almost always with me – when she wasn’t doing some kind of daredevil thing, that is. That kind of surprised me and made me smile just a little. Maybe she didn't really mind being with me as much as I might have thought.
Then Todd . . . thinking that he was as big as the others, following in their literal footsteps; showing that he WAS bigger than Thomas – taunting and teasing just a little. Hmmmmmm. . . . Throwing a big rock at Mark, crying when he didn’t get his way – I should explain that he was only 4! Well, that still doesn’t explain the rock. But cute, with a sensitive side that teared up very easily. And Patiently holding out a Cheeto for a groundhog. Yep, that would be Todd, more patient with animals than with his siblings. A little bit more challenging – but I love him lots anyway!
Thomas was only about 18 months during that vacation. He was still so little – but he was so good. I remember how amazed I was that he tolerated 2 weeks of camping so well and so easily. My biggest concern was keeping his face and clothes clean so that the bears wouldn’t smell him coming! He was pretty quiet and rarely complained. Okay, so Thomas is a lot more vocal these days and I’m sure he would have something to say about long car rides and staying in a tent and the outdoors for so long with absolutely no electronics! But that sweetness and innocence is still there, even today. Who can help but love Thomas?
Needless to say, Garrett was totally bent out of shape because he didn’t make an appearance in this movie. My thought is this: after listening to all the kids’ fussing and crying, throwing rocks and screaming to go to the bathroom, plus looking at the loaded-down Suburban with barely room to spare – well, let’s just say I’m totally amazed that Garrett made an appearance at all! Period! He’s lucky he’s even part of this wonderful family, but then so are we.