Working on a memorial service to mark the one year point of my husband transcending to spirit. This is not an easy thing to do. I want to make it personal and unique. Not creepy and scary. If anyone knew my husband, they would tell you he was at his best when he was with children. His nickname in our family is, “Uncle Muffin Man”. He would be appalled if anyone outside our family knew this, but hey, this is my blog. So, “Unkey Muff”, as my small niece, Elizabeth calls him, would get up in the early mornings, when the real parents wanted to sleep until the crack of 8am. Those damn kids got up at 5:45 am! Ready to go! Hungry! Excited to have company! Who cares if the company got in from New Jersey at 12:45am?! The cousins were here! Not to worry, Uncle Muffin Man was on the case. Yay! Just what we need: sugar plus rowdiness @ 6am. Oh my God, do they have coffee?
My friends who are single or are a couple without children. This pertains to you. Are you a magnet for children? Do they run after you on your visits, chasing you through the house and wanting you to play Chutes and Ladders, for the 700th time? Do you have to be the one to watch them as they go down the slide for the millionth time? “Watch me, (insert name here), watch me!” Are they stuck to you like glue when there are 40 other kids running all over the party, but you have to be the one who plays basketball with them?! I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Actually, it’s a big secret. This is something the parents of those kids who chase you non stop for 72 hours, (to the point where you actually look forward to driving back to NYC and hitting The George Washington Bridge on Sunday night, with beach traffic), don’t want you to know. Here it is… YOU ARE THE FUN GUY.
Those parents tell those kids for two weeks, prior to you coming… you are ” The Fun Uncle”. Yep, we warm those kids up in advance. Good and excited. We tell stories about how we put you in the dryer and turned it on and you went around three or four times, or how we took the lid off the manhole cover and you volunteered to go down to the sewer to retrieve the tennis ball for street hockey. We even tell them how you hid in the bushes and yelled “Hard workin’ man” to the meanest old guy on the street, who wouldn’t let you cut through his yard. You are that guy. “The Fun Guy”. No wonder they can’t wait for you to get up at 5am! Does this make sense to you all, now? You have been set up for kid duty, long before you even get there. Are you having a flashback about how excited so and so’s five-year old son was, leaping up and down with joy when your car pulled in the driveway?You probably thought to yourself,”Wow, that kid really likes me. Now that I think about it, all kids like me. This is gonna be great!” You are so set up. You don’t even know it! You put on a little extra charm, call them “Buddy” or toss them up in the air a few times, and the ball is set in motion. (cue parents giving each other a sideways glance and a mental high-five)
To be fair, I can’t really blame those parents. They are sleep deprived. Think about if you hadn’t slept in like, five years. It is a form of torture, in some third world countries. Hey, people with small kids just want to sleep. Period.
So… the Memorial Service. I’ve decided that there will be kids. Lots of kids and ice cream. Make your own Sundaes. Whipped cream. Nuts. Cherries. Most importantly, there will be Chutes and Ladders and basketball and muffins. Lots and lots of muffins. For my muffin man. The best Uncle Muffin, bar none. Love you, Uncle Muffin. Always.