Though I’m not much of a Facebooker anyway, I swore off it completely during the week of spring break. I couldn’t bear to see everybody’s posts about their sunny adventures in exotic locales since we were stuck staycationing in the April snow showers of Cache Valley. We tried to tell ourselves that the Fun Park’s $2 Tuesday special for the soft play zone was a raging riot, but who were we kidding. We wanted to be snorkeling in Hawaii with our neighbors.
During spring break my teenage son did try to bring a little sunny Aloha spirit into our home with his new obsession with the ukulele but, believe me, he’s no Don Ho. However, that didn’t keep me from calling him Don Ho since he’s the one who put ukulele music on the map long before Jason Mraz strummed onto the scene with his pop uke tunes. Of course, my son had no idea who Don Ho was, so I Googled some images to show him. He was unimpressed, “Please don’t compare me to an old fat guy who wears flower shirts.”
I am happy about my son’s interest in learning the ukulele, even though he only knows one song he learned from a YouTube video, which he plays over, and over, and over. Though his sister is plotting his death by smashing “that instrument of torture” over his head, I tell her not to discourage him since it is a non-electronic pastime—unusual for a modern teenager.
I am not, however, investing too much in this pastime just yet since some of his other passions have proven as short-lived as they were expensive. He went through a big duct tape phase where he had to have every color and funky pattern available to make his creations. Of course, I was elated he was spending hours on unplugged creative projects, so I cleaned out craft stores to keep him supplied. I still get compliments on the purse he made me. The height of this phase came at Christmastime, so Santa splurged on some special-order large-width rolls, a heavy-duty cutting board and some expert tools. For reasons unknown, the duct tape phase abruptly and officially ended December 28th of that year. Instead of repainting our house this summer we’re going to cover it in leftover designer duct tape.
After that, there was a series of obsessive collection phases including Silly Bands, all things with smiley faces on them, swords and knives, and various containers of slime—just to name a few. Those extensive collections are stored away in a huge plastic bin, which my son’s bride will receive as a wedding gift from her new family.
So, when my son saw a clip on YouTube of an epic ukulele jam session and he excitedly asked for a fancy new instrument, I took him to his Grandma’s house, reached up over a huge plastic bin with his mother’s name on it to a closet shelf and pulled down a ukulele covered in dust. I’m pretty sure that’s the exact place my mother put it after my sixth grade ukulele phase ended. You see, there was this one episode where The Brady Bunch went to Hawaii and met Don Ho . . .