oh brother (and sister), where art thou?

We are family! I got all my sisters (and brothers) with me!

Hidy-Ho Precious Readers!  It’s been waaay too long since my last post. Please consider this my offering of the most humble of apologies!

<removes feathered hat with a flourish and leans into a deep bow of regret and sorrow.>

Well, I’ll tell you one thing. Nothing quite prepares you for a family get-together, no matter how many years you’ve been a part of that family.  I observed quite an abundance of eye-opening behavior by way of some of my in-laws.

Allow me to introduce you to my brother- and sister-in-law:

And if either of them are reading this, I’m going in age-order. They’re super-competitive with each other and it’s the only way I could think of as a fair way to semi-introduce you to the world. Sorry. <shrugs.>

*Names have been changed for privacy

Brother In Law: Joker*

Joker is the oldest of the “Bacher Bunch.” 12 years older than Pilot, he is the self-proclaimed (and proud) black sheep of the family.

Although I have reason to believe he might be more like his parents than they care to admit, I’m keeping that comment to myself.

Party Animal: Joker lives up to his identifier by being a prankster and teases people relentlessly.

Even when we’ve asked him to stop.

Repeatedly.

In a voice often (wrongly) misconstrued by observers as “shouting.”

Charming: This is a term I hold especially for people who were super-popular, a jock and had arm candy for most of his/her high school career.

Basically the epitome of the type of person I strongly avoided during my high school career, due to my annoyance with them.

Don’t get me wrong, Joker and I get along fairly well.  Mostly due to the fact that both of us have been way past our high school days for several years (way more for him) and we’re both in adulthood.

Our détente may also have to do with the fact I can hold my own when it comes to teasing and I don’t really take any crap from anyone.  Oddly enough, now that I’m thinking about it, I think Joker respects me on some level.

That’s a creepy thought. I wonder if I should be worried about that…

It’s interesting to watch his and Pilot’s relationship change over the years.  One thing to recognize is: by the time Pilot was of an age to retain firm memories, Joker was pretty much out of the house. I think Pilot was still Joker’s little buddy and they always “had each other’s back” through brotherly love, but I just don’t think there was that much of a real connection between the two until more recent years.  Pilot was a band geek – the polar opposite of the Popularity Spectrum.

It bears repeating that Pilot is a drummer, which I feel gives him way more street cred than your standard French horn player or whatever.

Now that they’re both in adulthood, they have more common ground as husbands, men, and daily life struggles.

Lots of energy: Lots and lots of energy.

That’s the nice way of putting it. ADHD anyone?

Married: Cheery*.  A gal in his corner, but in no way overshadowed by Joker, Cheery definitely can stand on her own two feet. I basically look at Cheery as being the mother of four boys. Good luck with that!  For crying out loud, she’s the only woman I’ve ever met who can make Joker actually stop talking for a minute!

Granted it’s usually due to her palm becoming quickly plastered to Joker’s mouth. But hey, silence is silence, right?

Sister In Law: Hoops*

Now, Hoops is an interesting gal.  She is 10 years older than Pilot, and has a more motherly relationship towards him.

Which, as you can imagine for having the honor of being Pilot’s first girlfriend, added to the general stress that goes along with meeting Pilot’s parents for the first time – I also had to impress his sister.

In full disclosure, I think she actually hated me when we first met.  Nothing personal, I think she would’ve felt that way towards anyone who was deemed Pilot’s “First Girlfriend.”  Or any girlfriend for that matter.  Looking back, I’m really glad he has a close relationship with her, and I know that he will always have someone to talk to.

A very familiar tendril of jealousy over my lack of siblings is starting to form in my brain.

Super-sweet: Very naïve – much to the rest of the family’s delight and source of humor, and sometimes to my detriment.  For example, a recent conversation from earlier this year:

Hoops: Where are you from again?

Me: <murmurs reply, naming a suburb north of Seattle.>

Hoops: No, I mean where were you adopted from?

Me: South Korea.

Hoops: Oh.  <pauses.>  So are you a Communist?

<Pilot and I stop dead in our tracks, and goggle at Hoops for 2 seconds.>

Me: <deadpanned.> What?!

Pilot: <closes eyes.> Oh geez.

Me: <draws out words.> Um… No…

Hoops: But, it’s Korea. So, that makes you a Communist, right?

Me: First of all, I’m not a Communist.  I was adopted when I was six months old and raised here, so I’m no more of a Communist than you are.  Plus, Communism is part of North Korea. So if I had been born there? Trust me. I wouldn’t be here now.

Hoops: <shrugs.> Oh, okay.

Pilot: <facepalm.>

Super-smart: This woman has three master’s degrees.  Seriously.

It truly is a tribute to a woman who can get married, have a mortgage, raise three kids, still be a teacher and find the time to complete three master’s degrees.  I have yet to obtain one.

This factoid often highlights the dichotomy between her book smarts and Hoops’ naivety. Again, much to the family’s delight and source of humor.  (See above conversation above my non-Communism.)

Super-sporty: Went to college on a basketball and academic scholarship.

Sensing where the nickname came from?  Hmm?

Married: Mr. Hoops*.  Mr. Hoops is just that, he’s a computer teacher and a basketball coach. How did they meet?  Why, playing for their respective gender’s college basketball teams, of course!

Now Joker and Hoops each have 3 children with their respective spouses.  Ironically, though they’re competitive and have difficulty sharing with each other, they managed to take turns having their children.

In very rapid succession, typically within a year of the other’s relationship producing a child.

Born First   –   Joker’s Child #1: All Star*

This kid will run, cycle, wrestle, tackle, etc. laps around you. He is Joker’s “Mini Me” in looks, athletic ability and energy, but is much more reserved with what he says.

As Joker’s Mini-Me, trust me, no one will dispute this paternity, EVER.

Born Second (and the only girl)   –   Hoops’ Child #1: Red*

A sweetheart girl-next-door whose helpful and caring nature manifested itself into a pint-sized animal whisperer.

I swear, if this kid decides to be a veterinarian, the world is a better place because of it.

Born Third   –   Joker’s Child #2: Butters*

Now, this term of endearment is really strictly held between Pilot and myself. (And now you.) We call this guy Butters because he not only looks like Butters from South Park, he’s also sweet and innocent like Butters from South Park, often talked into or randomly becomes a part of the schemes his dad Joker or his brothers come up with.

Oh, and he wore a Spiderman outfit everyday for about a year.

Born Fourth & Fifth – identical twin boys:

Hoops’ Child #2: Chatty* (Twin 1)

Chatty is a talker. He loves to know about anything and everything, and enjoys sharing anything and everything.  With everyone.

Luckily for him, his Auntie Katie loves to talk too. He definitely has met his match with me.

Hoops’ Child #3: Dreamer* (Twin 2)

Dreamer is more aloof.  While equally as much of a sweetie as his twin, Dreamer tends to be more of a boy of actions rather than words.

He gives some of the biggest hugs out of all of them.  Aww…

Born Sixth   –   Joker’s Child #3: Dancing Fool

The reason we call him Dancing Fool? Not only is Cheery a dancing queen, Dancing Fool has inherited this gene.  He dances no matter if people are watching.

Actually, he dances especially if people are watching.  He stole the show at our wedding at a not-so-tender age of 2, running to the dance floor and busting a move better than Usher or Justin Timberlake.

Now, Dancing Fool is a funny story. Joker and Cheery were actually done with having children.  Joker had a vasectomy after Butters, but never went to his follow-up appointment.  As you can imagine, Cheery was very surprised to find out she was pregnant for a third time.

Which bears the Bacher Bunch: Family Motto and crest:

ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS go to your follow-up appointment!

The reason for this family tree-in-law update?  I want it to be very clear who these offspring are, and where (and who) they come from.  Despite being raised by parents who represent personalities opposing as strongly as the mismatch of:

Oil and Water
Spots and Stripes
Sandpaper and Bare Ass

-we’re lucky all six kids get along swimmingly.  Despite their differences, Joker and Hoops’ children have a mutual foundation of faith, “family comes first” mentalities, sports…

and one last thing…

Picture it in your mind:

Thanksgiving 2012

Post-meal discussions and board games galore.  The family is really settling in for the night.  The adults are talking (or rather, listening to Joker’s inebriated voice talk about something or other).

Suddenly, a tornado of six little fresh-faced children explode into the room, swirling in a mix of smiles, giggles and hugs, desperate to share their merrymaking with the adults.

Are you ready for this?

All six of these adorable, innocent little munchkins grab Joker’s phone.

A familiar, catchy techno beat begins to play.

Singing and dancing in their own field of euphoric energy, they pause long enough to strike a pose while belting out the infamous lyric:

I’m Sexy and I Know It!

Complete with their own varied, personalized motions during the reciting of:

Wiggle, Wiggle, Wiggle, Wiggle, Wiggle, Yeah!

Yup.  You guessed it.

The silly, singing spawn are united by the Party Rock patrons of LMFAO.

My poor, poor mother in law.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen her that shocked in all 10 years, as I did in that moment.

The only reason my mother-in-law, Honey* is even familiar with that song is because of me.  Earlier in the year, I sent her the music video for I’m Sexy and I Know It as a joke via Facebook.  Her response when I asked her if she had watched it?

Honey: Yes. I watched the: Whole. Thrusting. Video.

Man, I love that woman!  She cracks me up!  <smirks.>

So what’s the lesson here?  I suppose it’s a few things, really.

1. Children are more observant that you give them credit for.  None of us had any idea the kids had heard of this song, let alone have it committed to memory verbatim.

2. Music brings the world together. Even if it’s a song about men providing public hip thrusts.

And finally?

Life is too short to lack a sense of humor.

I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard in my life until the moment those kids started singing.

Oh wait…

I’m remembering Honey’s expression now.

<wiggle wiggle.>

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