Monday, February 25, 2008

The Proud Cynic

I’ll be the first to admit that I have a complex personality. I don’t think I have anything that is clinically diagnosable. I mean, I’m no Sybil. I’m just….quirky. In my family sarcasm is a way of life. If you don’t have the ability to A) identify sarcasm, and B) respond with similar sarcasm in a fairly expeditious manner, then you’d better get comfy in “the barrel” because you will be directly inside it frequently and at length. Luckily, we all have the sarcastic gene. Some are quicker than others, i.e. Melissa is Billy the Freaking Kid of sarcasm. But we’ve all got it. And we use it often.

One of the negative side effects of sarcasm/cynicism is that I often use it as a shield. A cover to hide true emotion or feeling. My sister recently posted on her blog a story with regards to her training for a marathon. I started to type a comment and instantly went to the sarcasm card. Something about calisthenics during The Oscars and my being in training for the chicken wing eating contest at the nearest KFC. I decided to place the sarcasm card back in the deck and go to another card. The Ace of Pride.

I am a very proud brother. My sisters and my younger brother are exceptional people doing exceptional things right now with their lives. Parents often live vicariously through their children…I know I totally plan to, but I never thought I would find similar joy in seeing my siblings rock the world with their accomplishments and gifts.

As previously stated, Ashley is training for a marathon. I’ve heard people talk about marathons being life-changing experiences. They are character builders and tune the soul. I look at Ashley now and there is definitely something different about her. Some of the reasons for the difference are obvious. First, she’s rail thin. And strong. Of course I always knew she was strong. She and I had a legendary wrestling match to confirm that…broken couch and all. But there are also some subtle differences. I see a genuine confidence in her eyes. She has an aura of inner strength. I have no doubt that strength has always been present, but now it is being showcased instead of unintentionally hidden. She is the living example of what constant drive and determination can do for a human soul. It is evident in her family life as a wife and mother as well as her own personal interests and accomplishments. I am intensely proud of her.

Melissa is on the brink of making it big. She has sacrificed more than I can comprehend and has lived as I never could have for the past two years, distanced from family, in a foreign community that does NOT share her value system and moral structure. She has placed complete faith in her husband to study smart and work hard. She had a confidence in him that I, admittedly, did not. But now, as if a Jimmy Swaggart palm collided with my forehead, “I Believe!!!” There is not a more focused, involved, concerned mother anywhere on the planet. I mean anywhere. Her mind is the fastest I’ve ever encountered, followed closely by Talmage’s. She is genuinely happy and I hear it when I talk to her on the phone. She has overcome tremendous adversity and is fast becoming the ideal for success and contentment regardless of physical circumstance and environment. I am fiercely proud of her.

Sheldon is one of a kind. He is Dodo. The man. The myth. The legend. He juggles fire and creates art with a mouse. He builds trebuchets and can see the curvature of the earth. He can conquer two full teams of Britons with 6 cannoneers in less than 8 minutes. He is rapidly acquiring an almost flawless taste in music. He is a strapping lad with shoulders that occupy an entire doorway, a mug that melts hearts, and dimples that can envelop my thumbs. And he is a good friend. I find myself inventing excuses to call him just to see how he’s doing. He is making intelligent choices now that will forever be to his benefit. Not only is he incredibly smart, but he’s proving to be studious as well. He has been pulling 4.0s at BYU with tough classes and is working as an RA taboot. He has secured a full scholarship for the next two semesters as reward for his efforts. I am insanely proud of him.

Our parents are amazing people with amazing lives and amazing accomplishments. However, if they are entertaining the idea of living vicariously through their children, they clearly have a few prospects.

1 comment:

Talbot Family said...

Thanks, those words mean more to me than I can ever express.