Sunday, August 04, 2013

Who me, serious?

I’ve decided I need to lighten up. I am entirely too serious.
I think it’s a Mom self-preservation thing. Three teenagers, a full-time job, a husband, a mortgage, car payments, college funds — not to mention the five rabbits multiplying in the backyard — this so-called “Serious Mom” has some serious responsibilities.
Well, I’m sick of it. I need an attitude adjustment.
It came in the form of my brother, aka Uncle Chris. Uncle Chris is kind of cuckoo — and I mean that in a good way. He’s also zany, off the wall and occasionally bizarre. I guess it’s the artist in him. Or that he’s Buddhist. He doesn’t take life too seriously, and this was just what this Serious Mom needed.
It just so happened that Serious Mom, Uncle Chris and our families spent the past week together at the beach.
Unlike Serious Mom, Uncle Chris doesn’t mind horsing around, roughhousing or inventing new WWE wrestling moves. And there’s no better place to demonstrate his original take-downs than at the beach. On my 6-year-old nephew. Ever heard of the Pizza Cutter? The Lumber Jack? The Double Avocado? Then don’t get in the ring with Uncle Chris.
Serious Mom packed sensible hats for windy days by the surf. Uncle Chris brought a giant pink sponge cowboy hat from Knott’s Berry Farm. When the wind picked up, he wrapped a plastic bag around his hair like a hairnet and sang his own version of “opera.”
Another day at the beach, Uncle Chris announced a rock-hunting expedition. Let’s find as many green rocks as we can! The green rock search eventually dissolved into more wrestling moves on the sand. Even Serious Mom jumped in on a dog pile at one point. Later we invented our own vaguely German-sounding language, which was completely hilarious at the time. Yeah, you had to be there.
Uncle Chris might have gotten some of his goofy genes from Grandma Sue. She had the genius idea of bringing bubble wands to the beach house, and one afternoon we unleashed a torrent of bubbles throughout the neighborhood. Each passing car was treated to a bubble salute and group wave. Some drivers waved back, but others just stared straight ahead as if to say, “Do not make eye contact with the crazy people blowing bubbles on the street.”
It was working. I was getting my sillies out.
Our girls were getting confused.
Mom never acts like this at home, they said.
I know, I said. This is great, isn’t it?
They didn’t look too sure about that.
Our week at the beach house ended way too soon. Before long we were on the road and back to our Serious Life. At home I unpacked the sandy towels, put away the beach chairs and buckets and started sorting the piles of dirty laundry.
I should have kept that pink cowboy hat.

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