It’s spring break for me.
I have returned back to the pinnacle of small-town USA– Kings Mountain, North Carolina.
Honestly, I love it here. Some people roast Kings Mountain, but I can’t think of any place more important to me. It would be kind of nice to have a Cookout, though.
It’s always a good time to get back to the Shorties. We have a fantastic time. My family is 6 different physical editions of one personality. Each of us have that one thing that makes us unique– the rest is purely genetic. Like I said, always a good time.
Molly, the oldest, is all old and stuff and married and like working or whatever, so the day-to-day is just Mom, Dad, Emma, and Gabe. And since I’m home for the week, 5 of the 6 are all here partying… Molly is with us in spirit.
Here’s the breakdown.
Molly is the oldest, the most level-headed, the most reserved, and the mother of the kids. She is absolutely wonderful. Molly and I are pals, and she is always the one that makes sense of my world. I miss her, being at school (and she is actually an employee/student of Liberty University). She got betrothed in December– one of the best days the Shorties have ever had together– and she is currently balling as an adult (newly named Molly Short Hoppes… like ‘hop-iss’). I always give her a hard time for being the human equivalent of one of those sad pet commercials (she is the biggest softie I have ever seen). But she wouldn’t be Molly if she wasn’t– All facts.
Emma is the resident drama queen. The things that keep her afloat are outfits, social media, friends, and alternative rock/pop (like some band named Coin– they suck, if you ask me.) She is beautiful and just like her older sister… and mother and grandmother. She’s got the biggest heart I’ve ever seen a middle schooler have. Emma and I are just alike. What this lends itself to is us ganging up on anybody who stands in our way. Emma and I could take on anyone in human history and absolutely destroy them with our words. No one in this house is safe with us around– we’ll roast anything and everything about you in a heartbeat. All facts.
Gabe (I chuckle as I even type that, honestly). Gabe is 11 years old. Gabe loves the internet. Gabe is a little gangly, and people assure me he is just like me. Perhaps that is why I can’t tell that he’s exactly like me. Gabe is incredibly smart, impulsive, hyperactive, and downright hilarious. When he cuts his hair, he looks like a meerkat. Gabe is typically the butt of the jokes Emma and I throw out, but honestly, it’s a roast circle– everyone gets busted eventually. Gabe lives and dies by my thoughts and actions. He likes who I like. He pulls against teams I pull against. He always asks my opinion. Always. It’s a burden, but the type of burden that you love, that forces you to grow as a person. I love the kid… sometimes I want to show my love my kicking his teeth in. But whatever, you know?
My parents are proof of God’s sense of humor.
Dad– organized, regimented, thoughtful, determined. He goes to bed early. He gets up early. He almost nearly refuses to learn certain technological skills. He is a natural leader, absolutely hilarious, and extremely sensitive. He is truly the best father I’ve ever seen. Regardless of the fact that he’ll read this, if he had a flaw, I would have named it– but he doesn’t. He’s my biggest fan on the field, and even bigger fan off of the field, and my absolute sense of the earthly, Christian life to live. He’s a baller– plain and simple. He also wears LeBrons.
Mom– disorganized, cluttered, compassionate, resilient. My mom might sleep like 2 hours a night. She probably drinks between 20-650 ounces of coffee in a day. She can fix any problem. She will knife anyone who comes after any member of our family. She is beyond smart and has one of the warmest personalities. My mom and I are best friends. She will always go to bat for me, and she will always be my rock. She’s never on time, but my mom always makes it to everything we do. She also wears the same 3 pairs of pajama pants all the time.
I take all of this for granted. I surely don’t call as often as I should. I haven’t always carried my weight. I see brokenness in homes all around me, and I don’t use that as an opportunity to look into mine and see the Lord’s active hand in our blessings. But never do I resent any time we spend together. Never is “family time” ever a dull moment. These people are my heart and soul. All facts.
My family is incredible. I don’t know many families, if any, that aren’t, to some extent, dysfunctional. But I (with much bias) feel as if we truly aren’t. We’re a team, and a good team, from top to bottom. Being here on spring break has kind of brought me back down to Earth, for college is not necessarily a family environment. It’s been barely 48 hours since I got back to the 704, and I already want to stay like it’s high school again. This is the team that gave me my big shot. This is the team that went all the way with me. This is my team.
I feel kind of like Tom Brady. Brady-esque, if you will.
Tom Brady has never left New England. And he has never ceased to be successful. He has lost great players. He has played for the exact same head coach. He has been one of the, if not the, premiere players in the NFL for at least a decade. Tom Brady personally has more hardware than some organizations do collectively. But Brady has never left. And the people around him have never given up. They’re like a family. And this dynamic has made them successful.
This family is the team I’ve won everything with. And it’s most assuredly the team I’ll retire with. We’ll all be at the ring– or should I say, Crown– ceremony. And, oh, what joy that will be.
So, this very moment, I dedicate to being like Brady (don’t tell my dad– he’s a Dolphins fan).
I won’t ever give up on this team. We really need to get jerseys.
Here’s to living a Brady-esque life.
Stick with your team.
Chase after the Lord and watch the blessings fall.