I am pretty sure that when I was a little girl, I was sunshiney and happy. I don't recall being Wednesday Addams in the least. Then, adolescence struck, and I gothed HARD. Music - check. Dark, mysterious "sadness" - check. Melodrama - check. As I've noted - I had a pretty good life, and somehow I still found a way at 15, 16, 17 to make it sad and solitary. How many people with 4 siblings can find themselves alone? I did. I can't believe my parents did not laugh in my face.
So as I gradually transitioned to an adult, I let some light back in. People who once found me difficult and thorny (read - classmates in high school and college) are amused and surprised to hear me described as tactful, kind and friendly. WHO?? Right, I know. I guess I just figured out the best way to make lemonade.
I am trying to teach the boys to make lemonade. Both in the literal, to-be-imbibed way, and also in the could-be-worse way. When one of them makes a comment about how they wish Connor were more like them, we say, "Wouldn't that be great? I bet he'd be so much fun and wrestle with you all the time. Isn't Connor lucky to have such a nice family who wants good things for him, and can take care of him as he is?" And they emphatically agree.
Drew has started figuring out that if he does good things, he gets "privileges". This is helping out considerably. Lee was away all last week, and all three boys were FANTASTIC! By Thursday night, they had kind of lost their minds and just started wrestling with reckless abandon. But they got up, ate, went to school, and went to bed without complaints. Even with the late snow day on Wednesday, they were awesome. Maybe I was overreacting a few weeks ago when I worried that I was diminishing their childhoods? I hope so. I'd rather make lemonade from that experience than have it be the water we have to drink every day.