Monday, May 26, 2008


I usually add a fourth F - I'll let you guess what it stands for and where it fits in the line up. You'll be right.

I love my family.

I love fun.

Seldom do the two go hand-in-hand.

For me, family fun, and it's grandmother, family vacation, are just big ol' oxymorons.

We are all four, plus a friend of Woohoo's, ("K" of Marychrist fame), on a little Memorial Weekend "vacation." Worse yet, we're in Sisters, which is where I come to get away from all these people. Now they're here with me. On my turf. In my space. And the space ain't big. Can you say, 1/4 of the size of our house? Oh. And it's raining.

We brought bikes, badminton, STM even built a ping-pong table. The outdoor community pool is supposed to open this weekend, but it's too. damn. cold.

And I've got been sick. Fever. Chills. Sore throat.

But, yesterday we all rallied, got in the car and drove to Bend to go bowling. Rojo was really excited.

"I'm going to be Ricochet. That is going to be my name, and everyone else needs to have a bowling name, too. Here Mom," he says, handing me the Scotch tape and a Sharpie, "write my name on my shirt so everyone will know my name is Ricochet."

I pull off a strip of tape, stick it above the words Oakland Raiders that mark his t-shit, and begin to write.

R -i -c - o - c

"Mom! That is not my name! My name is not Ricochet. It is Rick O'Shea!"

Off comes that strip of tape and a new one takes its place.

Ricochet Rick and the girls climb in back, I sit next to STM. He's got zero hands on the wheel, his knee is doing all the work, and he starts a little story about the creek we pass. His head turns 1/2 way around to the girls (he assumes, correctly, they are the only ones interested in his creek story).

I feel myself grow so tense I could burst a blood vessel in my neck. As he tells the girls the creek story, a familiar story plays in my head. "Well, isn't this just typical! He's not even watching the road! He's so overly confident in his skills he's going to get us all killed. Why can't he just put both hands on the wheel, 10 and 2, like you're supposed to, and follow the RULES? Why must he always be above the law?"

I close my eyes and fake sleep the rest of the way to the bowling alley, figuring what I don't know can't hurt me, or make me homicidal.

We get to the bowling alley he asks everyone's shoe sizes. The girls shout out theirs, I shout out mine, and I tell him to get a size 5 for Rick O'Shea. We go in search of the perfect balls and STM comes back with the shoes. Rick's don't fit.

"I'll be right back," he says.

He comes back with another pair. Larger. They fit perfectly. I already know the answer but want to hear him say it.

"So, what size ended up fitting him?"

"Size 5," he says, quietly.

Nice Carrie stayed in Portland. Bitchy Carrie says, "Oh! The EXACT size I told you to get?"

He gives me the, "You're just determined to have a bad time, aren't you?" look.

And I realize, he's right.

I try to give myself an instant attitude adjustment and eventually, by my second turn up to bowl, am starting to get into it. Plus, I'm kicking everyone's butt, and that's always good clean fun.

By the end we're all high fiving, knuckle touching (with explosions) and whooping it up.

Just like a regular family.


Wildflower Toddlerhouse said...

"I could burst a blood vessel in my neck."

OMG, I am laughing so hard! I've been waiting for such a report...glad to hear that you pulled out of that one.

I'm heading in that direction myself and it's only half a morning on one day.

Hope you're feeling better and that you'll be back home soon.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Bend! Now isn't that significant that all of this fun happened there? There are no accidents as the bloggers says.
Keep Bending and who knows what all will happen. You know the beatitude: "Blessed are the flexible they're never Bended out of shape".

More FFF(F) is in your future.

Eileen said...

Sounds like a regular family outing to me. I can SO relate to this post. In many, many ways.

Hope you feel better and get home soon.


Deb said...

We sound a lot alike.

Kathryn said...

This cracked me up because I can relate to every bit of it. Love Rick O'Shea!

La La said...

I like the "bitchy" Carrie! LOL! She's the BEST!

Gotta love FFF. In our family we call it, SSF, "So Supportive Family." It's our way of being sarcastic.

kario said...

The only way I'll bowl with my family is if we all have gutter guards - then it's worth it to me.

BTW, what was your name for the fun?

Go Mama said...

Man, you nailed this family dynamic!

Funny, what is it with long weekends and bowling? We went bowling on Sunday too!

Loved mom, Rick O'Shea.


Michelle O'Neil said...

Love Rick O'Shea.

It's perfect.

Where does he come up with this stuff?

Drama Mama said...

I love this. I love Rick O'Shea. I love that you have the same conversations that my husband and I do.

Except I usually just stay bitchy.

Rick O'Shea.