First posted on December 28, 2013.
When we were younger and would gather together with all of our extended family for the holidays, there were a few uncles we would avoid like the plague. One of them, in particular, would freak us out by placing his hands around our faces and lifting us up off the ground. Later, when my sisters complained of this mistreatment, he said, “Hey, I did you a big favor! Look how tall you are now. I didn’t do it to her (he glanced meaningfully in my general direction) and look…”
My sister reminded us of another practice that our own dad would engage in when we were little. He would gently stroke our forehead until we fell into a stupor and then would give it a sudden, smart smack.
We chortled as we fondly reminisced about these and other sadistic Korean practices.
“What was that last one called?” my brother asked as he wiped away tears of laughter.
“Love,” my sister responded without hesitation.
After Christmas breakfast, my siblings and I remained at the table chatting. My brother disappeared and returned again with a piece of paper. He began industriously drawing up a list.
And then it happened. My brother became that uncle:
Remember, kids…it’s called love!