Back in high school, I had a good buddy named Klein that lived right down the road from Fellner. We all ran cross country together and if there was one thing in the world that Klein was, it was a hilarious smartass. The quotes that tumbled out of Klein’s mouth were legendary and you always knew that whenever you were in his presence, laughter wouldn’t be far. But it was also Klein that phrased one of the catchiest words my friends and I still use today. Gooblings. You see, the running joke used to be that every time somebody came over to my house, our family would have grown by at least one child and that child would run around the house in the nude. I’ll never forget one afternoon where myself, my siblings, and most of the neighborhood kids were all in our backyard playing baseball. Of course, since it was in the dead of summer, everybody was only wearing the Essential S’s. Shorts, Shoes, and Shades. Somewhere around the 7th inning, Klein and Fellner drove up and as they approached the game, the hoard of little kids on the field ran up and surrounded them, begging each one to be on their team. Klein was only able to grab their attention and hush the crowd long enough to ask a simple question. While staring down at the faces of countless kids, he asked who was actually related to me. Since all the children thought that the answer rested on which team he would pick, well over half the hands shot up. When he rephrased the question to who actually lived in the house behind him, more hands seemed to linger in the air. He finally just looked up at me, shook his head, and stated, “Goob, you’ve got way too many Gooblings under your control.”
And hence, from that day forward, my siblings were officially known amongst my circle of friends as Gooblings.
On my bio page, you can find the following sentence:
We all talk multiple times a week and I can’t wait to see what it’s like when all five of us are adults.
For years, I’ve tried to image where myself and all the Gooblings will turn up along the way on the road of life. It’s easily one of the main things I look forward to in the future and earlier this month, our journey took one more step towards its way of completion. Tonight, I finally edited the cast page to reflect Clay’s correct age. That’s right folks. Clay, the Goobling right smack dab in the middle of all us Gooblings, the kid who for years and years I tormented to no end, the one who I easily would say is the most like me in every little way, turned 13. The big One Three. A teenager.
He’s made the plunge. Long gone are the days or tormenting and ridicule and replacing them are the days of inclusion and embracing. He’s an official member of the Brotherhood Clan, whose membership before hand only included two. Now we just need some cool handshake or knock or tattoo or something. (Don’t worry Mom and Dad, I won’t let my 13 year old brother get a tattoo. I’ll at least wait until he’s 14.) Although, to be honest, he has been an honorary member for a few years. And I’m not talking about the honorary type member that the PGA did with that black dude Cecil in Augusta before Tiger came around. Oh no. I’m talking about the honorary type member who had full voting privileges and was privy to Top Secret information and everything. The only difference now is that since the honorary member status has been removed, he’s now expected not to fall asleep after a midnight meeting just because he’s tried. That’s no longer an excuse! =)
I still can’t believe that the little guy is already in the full blown adolescence stage. I still remember being shocked the day his biological clock rolled over from single to double digits and yet when I think about it, that was over three years ago. Part of me wants to slow it down, to snap my fingers and freeze the Goobling’s lives right where they are. I don’t want to see them ever lose their inherent innocence. I don’t want the day to come where all three no longer latch onto my legs when I walk in the door. And I certainly don’t want to see the day where they are all dating totally hotter women than me (or men in your case Jules!) because that’s just not cool. I’m already sick of watching Orge woo the ladies. Enough of that! Unless of course they have some hot older sisters. Then by all means, continue!
I don’t ever want to stop receiving pictures in the mail from Jules. As I type this, I am glancing up at the two latest ones she sent me. One contains a picture of a Rhinoceros and says “I (heart) U, Rhino!” The other picture is quite possibly one of the greatest and funniest drawings in the history of little sister drawings. On it, there are two people holding hands with a third, much shorter person standing behind them. The short person is of Jules and she is saying, “Ooooh, Ryan likes her.” The two tall people are me and a hot chick. My face is covered in red dots with an arrow being pointed to my head saying “embarrassed” and the top half of the page is filled with the following caption. “Sooo….Ry. Have you met any girls yet?” These are the things that I never want to loose. I don’t know what I’d do without them.
And even Colton, he who runs around reciting Pokemon and video game phrases. He who comes up with some of the most random sayings and repeats them at the most inopportune times. He who will never talk to you on the phone but who will cuddle and lie with you on the couch for hours on end. He’s already 5 and in two months I will be updating the cast page again to reflect his new age of 6. I don’t want him to grow up. I don’t want him to stop cuddling with me and stop playing Mario Kart Double Dash and stop thinking that the game where I pretend to be a monster and chase him around the house isn’t fun anymore. I don’t want any of this to end.
And yet, I still stand by my belief that I can’t wait to see what we’re all like when we grow up. I can’t wait to see what kind of trouble we all get into when we get together for holidays and celebrations. I can’t wait for the day Colton turns 21 and we all get together to celebrate. Jules will already be and a hot young lady whom will never be allowed to date for no man will ever be good enough for her. Clay will be celebrating his final year of the glorious 20s decade before turning 30 while Waynus will already be 32 with a wife. (yeah, you’re getting married first son!) Myself? I’ll be 38, carefree as ever, roaming the countryside in search of new and exciting adventures, reminiscing on Shyzer about the good ‘ole days, and echoing the thoughts I made here today. I can’t believe how fast these Gooblings are growing up.
But Happy Birthday, Clayster. You have no idea how proud I am to be your older brother. I can’t wait to be lounging on the lake in Minnesota with you and Tom in less than a month, talking about just how great life can get.
I just hope you know how large of a roll you and Tom and Jules and Colt play in making mine spectacular.