Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Caroline's 65 Year Old Smoker Soul

If you have spent more than five minutes with Caroline, then you've heard me apologize for her attitude by explaining that she has the soul of a 65 year old smoker.  I have said this since day one with her.  I guess you could say there's something about her that is an "old soul".

When we first moved to PA, our new cable package included the Lifetime Movie Network, which was new to us.   On this channel I stumbled upon a show called Ghost Inside My Child.  The show interviews parents of children who have memories and knowledge from another lifetime, including how they died when they were a grown up before.  Crazy, right?!  It could all be scripted, who knows, but it is pretty fascinating and it got me thinking about Caroline. 
 Here are the top ten reasons I believe Caroline has the soul of a 65 year old smoker:

1.  Ever since day 1 she has had a scratchy smoker's voice.  It has become less evident as she's grown older and polished her English, but it's still there.

2.  Her attitude...about everything.  She has this bitter old woman sense about her, mad at the world and bitter about everything.  She always manages to be disappointed about everything.  I could say we were having ice cream and donuts for dinner and she'd still manage to let out a sigh and walk away in her Eeyore manner.

3.  Her sass and sense of humor.  She's straight up HILARIOUS.   Her sense of humor is way more mature than her age.  It makes it very hard to keep a straight face when she says something that's not quite appropriate for a 9 year old to say, but it's super funny.  She is super sassy and acts as if she invented the eye roll.

4.  One time right before Halloween when she was only 5, my mother gave the girls a bag of goodies for them to open up.  Inside was a small rectangular box of Malley's chocolates wrapped up in pretty paper.  She picked up the box, shook it next to her ear and said "Granny, why you get me some smokes?" then proceeded to tap the box on the palm of her hand a few times.  We all just stood there with our jaws on the ground.  Who says "smokes" anymore?  No one in our family even smokes.  This was the first specific incident when I knew there was some serious history wth this girl.

5.  In our hometown there is this super cool 50s type hot dog diner called Dan's Dogs.  We would go there frequently as a family.  All over the walls are pictures of celebrities and memorabilia from the 50s and 60s.  The first time we went there Caroline pointed to a picture of Elvis and asked who it was.  Over the years, every time we've gone she has asked questions about Elvis and found a book they have about him at the restaurant to read while we wait for our food.  

6.  Last year for the Fourth of July we went to visit some family in Toledo.  As we were all sitting around outside eating, my father pipes up and says "Hey, do you guys want to hear a funny story?"  Now this was a rare occurrence because my dad is a pretty quiet guy and is usually one to sit back and listen to other people talk, so all of our ears perked up.  This has got to be a good story for him to want to share, right?  So, he starts telling about a time where he left one of his three cell phones on the top of his car, started to drive off onto the highway and the phone flew off of the roof of the car.  Before he was even finished with what he thought was a hilarious story, Caroline rolls her eyes and loudly says "Good grief Gramps, great story." very sarcastically.   Who even says good grief anymore???  No one in her world, I can tell you that for sure.

7.   This child is OBSESSED with the TV.  It literally does not matter what is on the TV (commercials and all) her eyes are glued to it.  We here in the Bratt household refer to this as her TV comma.  At first I just figured "hey, the kid has lived in a mud hut for the past 4 years so she's never seen anything like this" but it never ever wore off or has lost its intensity.  It just got me thinking that if her "old soul" is from the 50s or 60s, then TV would have been a very new and fascinating thing.

8.  I'd say ever since she was 5 or 6 she would always point out to me when there was a handsome guy on a magazine cover in the grocery store, or on TV.  She was always on point too.  She always noticed, while Charlotte never did, nor did she care.  Caroline has a thing about peoples' eyes.  She's always pointing out if people have pretty eyes, even in person she'll say "Hey mom, did you see that man's eyes?  They were so pretty."  Just not typical for a 5 year old.

9.   She has always been very difficult to parent.  She's just so over being a kid and having to listen to other peoples' rules.  She has this air about her that an adult would have if their parent was telling them what to do.  I'm pretty sure at the age of nine she thinks she could go out, get a job and live on her own.  I'm not 100% certain she's wrong either!  Girl's got tenacity! 

10.   This story: We went to visit my friend Mary's campground one fall day and came away with one of my favorite stories of all time with Caroline. She had to go to the bathroom while we were there so Mary had her go into her parents' house to use the bathroom. Caroline has never met Mary's mom before. She walks through the kitchen to get to the bathroom and sees some junk food laying out like pop-tarts, chips, etc. She turns and looks at Mary's mom and says "Someone in this house is about to get some diabetes." I didn't even know she knew the word diabetes, let alone know how to use it properly! Half of the words in her vocabulary she can't pronounce properly, but diabetes she's got down cold!

 Now, before you get all "Well, aren't you a Christian?  How can you reconcile the concept of reincarnation with your faith?"  I don't know!!  It's just not that serious, ok?!  All I know is that the "child" I live with and love, does not act like a child a lot of the time.  It's mysterious, awesome and frustrating all at the same time.  One day I'll get to ask God what was up with that, but until then I'm just enjoying the ride.


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