Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Road trip ideas, and why fighting with your siblings means you don't get to have any fun

This past weekend, we were talking with my mom about how we love that Josie and Zeke get along so well, and how important it is that they love each other and have strong relationships when they grow up.  I'm very close to my brothers, and J is tight with his brother and sister, and we want our children to look to each other and always have each others' backs.

My mom opined that the closeness between my brothers and me stems in part from the fact that we spent a lot of time together as kids and took lots of family vacations. 

Suddenly, Josie sneezed.  My mom said, "God bless you!" 

Josie grinned and giggled. 

My mom explained, "Josie, that was a sneeze.  Can you say 'sneeze'?" 


And it reminded Mom of a funny story about my brothers and me from when we were kids.

In the summer of 1982, when I was 12, Josh was 10 and Sam was 5, we were in the U.S. on home leave from Israel (where we lived from 1980 to 1984).  My aunt (mom's sister) lived in Boston and was about to give birth to her first baby (my cousin Aaron), so we went to visit her and also took a beach trip to Cape Cod.  The drive out to Cape Cod was in an old Rent-a-Wreck that was massive.  Josh and I sat in the back seat and Sam sat up front with my parents.

My mother became concerned when she started to hear sneezing from the back seat.  One after the other after the other.

"Bless you."

"God bless you!"

"Gesundheit!  Oh my goodness, are you two OK?"

It kept going on, non-stop sneezing.

She turned to my father.  "We're going to need to find a doctor.  We're flying back in a couple of days and I'm worried that the kids are getting sick."

Titters and giggles from the back seat.

She turned back and glared at us.  We acted natural, probably complete with fake whistling and glancing around nonchalantly.

Another sneeze.  More giggles.

She snapped her head back in time to see me with a shoe-lace up my nose.  Josh and I had been sticking shoe-laces up our noses to make ourselves sneeze.

In our defense, this was before the days of personal DVD players and video games.  And reading in the car makes me carsick.

After being admonished by my mother ("what on earth is the matter with you two??"), we settled down for a little while. 

Zing -- splat!

The spit-balls had started.  We had stopped at a McDonald's for lunch.  McDonald's has big, wide straws.  So Josh and I grabbed a bunch of them and some paper napkins and entertained ourselves by trying to hit the rear-view mirror.  Or the windshield.  Or the side-view mirror.  Or the back of Sam's head.

More giggling.  Even my parents were amused.

Sam fumed from the front seat.  He was a whiny little thing at that age and was always bitching about something.

"It's not fair!  How come Josh and Wendy get to sit in the back and have fun while I have to sit up here with you??"

My mother responded sensibly, "because you can't sit with your brother or sister without getting into a fight."


Josie and Zeke, let this be a lesson.  Together, you can rule the world.  Or at least dot it with soggy bits of chewed up paper napkins.


  1. I love the vision of you guys sticking shoelaces up your noses. Love love love.

  2. I'm proud to say that it was my idea.