She heard the chaos before she even walked into her grandpa’s house that afternoon. Jeff was at it again, pestering Jill until she started screaming. It was a recipe she could predict every time. Jill would get annoyed with Jeff and Jeff would ramp up his annoying behavior until Jill screamed. A + B = C. Every time.
Kip had three younger siblings. She always pictures the stick-figure window cling on the back of her mom’s minivan when she thinks about her siblings.
Kip laughed out loud as she thought about the fact that Jeff wasn’t born yet when her mom put the stick figure family on the car so she thinks of him as the dog. The dog is long gone so it works out perfectly. In so many ways.
Kip’s brother Joe is in the fourth grade and already had a shelf of championship trophies from football, basketball, and baseball. Her sister Jill was the dramatic one and she was six years younger than Kip and in first grade. Oh boy, that girl could change her moods like flipping a lightswitch. Then there was the baby of the family who got what he wanted ALL the time…Jeff. Jeff was only four years old and he already knew how to rule a household.
Yep, Kipalee had three siblings named Joe, Jill, and Jeff. No more Fabio romance novel names for her parents. She was the only “lucky” one. Faith Hill’s The Lucky One ran through her mind as she chuckled to herself about her luck in the name department.
Kip’s mom was preparing dinner, looking exhausted. “Who could blame her with this crew?” she thought as she smiled at her mom.
“How was your second day honey?” Kip’s mom asked. “Did you have a great day again?”
Kip decided long ago that she was never going to place any more burdens on her family than they already had. “It was good. That nice girl, Susan, asked me to come to her barn to meet her horse next weekend.” Kip only told her parents the part of her story they want to hear, the part that leads to them smiling sweetly at her, thanking their lucky stars that she was so easy.
Kip’s dad rushed in, gave her mom a peck on the cheek and grabbed a handful of the tortilla chips her mom had set out to accompany the tacos they were having for dinner. He headed toward the stairs as he said, “So sorry honey, I have to head back to work for a meeting. We have an important project starting up tomorrow and we are not ready at all.”
Kip’s dad was an electrical engineer who works for a small company that makes all sorts of springs. Kip’s mind always wandered when her dad described the different kinds of springs they make…the only thing she knew for sure is that they are not bed springs and they are not Slinkies. The rest of what he told her went in one ear and out the other.
Kip’s mom sighed heavily as she surveyed the feast she was cooking. She put a weak smile on her face as she asked Kip, “Will you please let your brothers and sister know that it is dinner time?”
Kip went into the living room, untangled Jeff and Jill as they were fighting over a toy, and escorted them into the kitchen before heading to the backyard to get Joe.
“Hey Joe, it’s time for dinner,” Kip approached Joe, careful not to get in the way of the bat he was swinging. Sometimes Kip got jealous of Joe. He was like the perfect child in all the ways–he was handsome with his curly light-brown hair and his dimples, he was smarter than everyone in the family added together, and he was an incredible athlete. Oh yeah, he was also one of the nicest people ever. Just being around him was comforting for Kip
“Is dad eating with us tonight?” Joe asked Kip, “Or does he have a meeting again?”
Kip scanned his big hazel eyes to see if she could spot any disappointment. Nope, he just looked curious. Man, she wished she could be like Joe…just content no matter what. She responded, “They have a new project starting tomorrow so he has to go back to work.”
“Well, at least grandpa will be there. He wouldn’t miss taco night!” Kip and Joe chuckled together as they thought about their big, jolly grandpa who loved mexican food. He might have little patience with the kids, especially when Jill and Jeff make messes, but he was very fun to have at the dinner table. He always told mildly inappropriate jokes that made their mom blush and say, “Dad!” in an accusatory tone.
Yep. This family might be a hot mess, but it was always entertaining. And, it was her’s. No matter where they lived, no matter what school they went to, no matter the challenges they face, they would face them together. Well, except for Kip’s school challenges. Those she was determined to face alone. She needed to be a help to her family, not a burden.
They all sat down to dinner and passed around the fixings for tacos. If someone were to look in the window, they would see a picture-perfect family sharing a meal. But, things are not always as they seem, are they?
Questions for my editors:
- Kip’s family is introduced in this chapter. How does knowing more about Kip’s family help you understand Kip better?
- What details about Kip’s family did you connect with?
- What questions do you have about Kip’s family?
- Are there any parts where more detail should be added? If so, which parts and what suggestions do you have?
- Did you learn any new words in this chapter? If so, what were the words you learned?
- Always let me know if you find grammatical errors.
Please put your edits in the comments on this post. I will comment back to you and make changes to the chapter based upon your feedback. I can’t wait to learn from you!
Behind the scenes info:
I think that I already mentioned that my mom and her family lived in Jackson when they were growing up. My mom moved to Grand Rapids after college because that is where my dad’s family lived, so I grew up in Grand Rapids. However, we spent lots of time in Jackson because we went back to visit my mom’s family a lot.
My mom really did have siblings named Joe, Jill, and Jeff. She was the only one with an unusual name. She laughed about that with us often.
I am not sure that the descriptions I give my mom’s siblings are completely accurate–you’d have to ask my grandpa about that. Uncle Jeff and Aunt Jill, I hope you aren’t mad at me about the descriptions I gave you. Remember, this is fiction. Or is it?