Dear J, J, L and L,
It’s Friday. Time for another letter to the four of you. And I’m blank as a chalkboard on a Saturday morning. Do they even use chalkboards anymore, except as memes on Facebook and for coffee shop signs?
Oh, wait. I just thought of something.
There’s a few sayings or specific words we share as a family or at least as certain family members that almost always make my face bust open into a smile.
Watch out for the hairbrush!
It’s a sign!
Israel and Palestine.
It makes you feel alive.
Is everyone in the car?
Remember the beanie baby.
Peace on earth, good will toward siblings.
It’s either men or a cheap motel.
This is the life.
Organize the garage.
Keep your hands and feet inside the ride…
And probably a couple dozen others you could add.
Not one of these phrases or words mean the same thing to other people that they mean to us. And I love that. They’re like code words that unlock secret doors of laughter.
They evoke, at times, noteworthy stories of endurance, hilarious memories and weird happenings that we wouldn’t wish on our worst enemies. Some of them serve as coping mechanisms to keep insanity at a safe distance. All of them define our weird sense of humor and unique family chemistry.
I like us. I mean I really, really like us.
I like our family history, as painful, silly, nonsensical, weird and tragic as it occasionally turned out. If I wrote it out as a novel, no one would believe it. You had to live it to see how really strange a group we were/are.
And yet, if you look around you, and listen to a few people on occasion (or watch any reality TV at all) we have the most normal, boring, typical family on the block. Seriously.
And that’s a little frightening, don’t you think?
If we’re normal, is there any hope for the rest of the world?
I hope so.
I hope other families laugh as much as we tried to. I hope other families have their inside jokes and silly pranks or strange movie quotes. I know one family who has a plaque by the front door that reads, “Have fun storming the castle.” That’s a good sign…
I hope you have your own secret code words and phrases that no one else gets. If you do, you’ll be just fine.
Remember, only you can prevent forest fires.
I love you tons!