These are all things that make up a family.
But what makes a family unique?
All of the above...with a little extra magic.
My 3 year old thinks I'm magical...I can't disagree. I can conjure up chocolate from nowhere and break out of locked rooms a la Houdini.
None of which have to do with stashed Hallowe'en candy or hidden keys.
In homes across the world we live, play, breathe, cocooned in our own love, laughter, music, chaos, mess, routine. One moment turbulent and tumultuous. The next one a picture of peace and pacification.
It's in the everyday family life that has us relating to others but it's in the way we live our lives every day that makes us unique from each other.
It's in the quirks of family sayings, "We're off like turd of hurdles!" as we set off on a morning adventure through the woods.
In the smell of each family home, the air filled with a mix of spices, pets, laundry soap, scented candles...the essence, the je'ne sais que that one detects when walking into a person's home.
The silly songs made up by Daddy or passed down from generation to generation.
Magalena Hagalena anyone?
The certain staples kept in each person's fridge, freezer and cupboard.
Ours...hummus, tzatziki and butter. Apples, lemons, peppers and avacodos. Cheerios, Shreddies and milk chocolate chips. Frozen peas, corn and waffles. Mango juice, milk. And wine.
It's in my name, January. A name that I hated for so long but now embrace because it sets me apart...and makes me unique.
It's in my boys superhero fanaticism, their daily dress up as Batman and Robin, Ironman and Spidey...to fight off the world's villains. Running through the house, stampeding like a herd of elephants, shooting webs, jumping off furniture and flying through the air, capes flapping enthusiastically behind them.
It's in the mid-afternoon dance offs to Rihanna, Black Eyed Peas and Jack Johnson amidst scattered toys and strewn costumes when all hell is breaking loose and there really is no other option but to dance.
When bath time is full of splashing and high pitched squeals from the tub while I sit watching biting my tongue and trying not to get waterboarded on the other side.
Most families can relate to another's daily trials and tribulations, good days full of dancing and silly giggles when the word 'bum' 'fart' or 'poop' is repeated ad nauseum and bad days when bedtime cannot come soon enough as the whines, clinging and tantrums are driving you bananas. The need to have juice in the blue cup NOT THE YELLOW ONE for one child while the insistence on having that unidentifiable blue plastic square thing from who knows what, in hand while eating dinner is of paramount importance to the other.
At the same time that we can relate to each other as parents, we also have our unique family quirks, sayings, routines and ways of embracing the day that make one family a little bit different than the next.
So today and everyday after I will try my best embrace the crazy of my chaotic days...for as frustrating, overwhelming and head ache inducing as it can get, life any other way would be boring.
(Though sometimes....I long for boring.)