My daughter is the epitome of a cheerful optimist.
She is nearly always happy, always pointing out the beautiful and amazing things around her, and is constantly looking to thank me for something or state how much she enjoys whatever it is we’re doing right then.
“Thanks for taking us on this run, Mom. I love running!”
“Doing laundry is the best, Mom. Thanks for letting me do it!”
“Thank you for allowing me to clean this toilet, mom. It’s so fantastic!”
Although I appreciate her enthusiasm, because I’m a cynic at heart, I sometimes suspect that her cheery disposition is actually rooted deeply in her people-pleasing-oldest-child-personality and then multiplied by opportunism to capitalize on her little brother’s general lack of cheery disposition (and his being told to quit whining and/or arguing approximately once a second) in order to differentiate herself as The Favorite Child.
I believe this because the whinier he is, the cheerier she is. The more he says he hates something, the more she says she loves it.
It’s as if he left his lunch money in her room and she’s perfectly happy to collect interest on it.
But maybe I’m reading too much into her personality. Maybe she somehow missed all of my genetics and is genuinely the nicest person that ever lived.
Or maybe, deep down, she’s as cynical as I am. And is just WERKING it.
“Thanks for this English assignment, Mom. I LOVE writing acrostic poetry!”
Those are words that Ali spoke last week. Those words definitely never came out of my mouth, as I despise all forced attempts at rhyming or rhythm, mainly because I’m absolutely horrible at it. Like seriously – cannot write a rhyming verse to save my life. Additionally, I hated every English book and class that I ever knew. One time I loathed my English book so badly that I asked my Mom if I could finish the entire book that day and not do English for the rest of the year. She said yes, and I happily obliged.
(I didn’t learn much English that year, but I’ve managed to figure out the basics of the language in spite of my self-administered mini-term.)
But Chris is an excellent song-writer, so I thought that perhaps Ali has her father’s talent and love for the art.
She handed me her poem with excitement and glow.
“I wrote my acrostic poem about winter! Don’t you love it? It was fun to try and start all the lines with the letters W-I-N-T-E-R.”
I read her poem.
I read it again.
I giggled some more.
“It’s amazing, honey. Simply. Amazing.”
And at that moment I knew, deep down, in the places she doesn’t like to talk about, Ali had a hidden dark side, just like her mother.
Because Ali’s poem sounded just like April Ludgate had written it, and is best read with her fantastic monotone delivery.
You go, Ali.
Keep being sunshiny and positive on the outside, but enjoy your Inner Evil Poet as well.