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The Claw

June 12, 2010

Don’t you just love all those wierd and quirky traditions that families develop over the years?  It wasn’t until I went to college that I found out that my mother was the only one in the world who called a sweat shirt a sweat sack.  So that’s what I called them too.  That is until my future husband heard me one day say , wait until I get my sweat sack.  He still hasn’t finished laughing, and we’ve been married 33 years.  The odd thing is, you never know that it’s only your family that does it until you just happen to be around someone else when you do it, and they act as if they have just seen a space alien.  Up until that point, you are quite happy in your own little delusional world of what you think is “normal”.

The biggest collision of worlds comes when two people get married.  I had never heard of the claw, until the first summer of our marriage.  My husband’s family finds it fall down on the floor laughing funny.  Me, not so much.  Can we say creepy?

So what is the claw?  Well, my father in-law started it when his kids were very young.  He had long skinny fingers which he could bend at that top joints giving his hands a strange and scary claw shape.  The claw would appear out of no where at any time.  You could be sitting on the couch, when this strange claw would start coming at you from around a corner.  You can imagine how little kids would scream and giggle with fear and delight. Seeing the claw coming towards them.  Sometimes to engage in massive tickling and other times just to threaten ominously.  Again, me, not so much.  I just found it creepy.  Still do.

My husband has carried on the famous claw tradition with our own son.  His hands can do pretty much the same thing his dad’s did.  I did say creepy, didn’t I?  Of course, our son finds it hilarious.  He screams and giggles as soon as the claw appears.  My husband has added his own flair to the beast.  Sometimes, he twitches his hand to alert everyone that the claw is about to take over.  This new twist to the game only seems to heighten the delight for our son.  I still say, creepy.

We now have a new player to the game.  Our almost 2 yr old chocolate lab, McCoy.  She is the most dear little soul on the planet.  She mother’s over us all, but especially our son.  Her whole life revolves around that little boy of ours.  She plays, protects, snuggles, follows his every move and breath.  She is his partner in crime.

So, I’m sitting in my chair, reading my book when I hear the screams begin.  I had just kissed my husband goodnight.  He had gone upstairs to bed and my son began to scream like he was being murdered.  Now how sad is it that I didn’t even flinch.  I knew exactly what I would see if I raced to the scene of the crime. There would be my husband, standing in the hall, his hand, um excuse me, the claw reaching in the room towards our son.  My son would be screaming and wriggling all under his covers in delight at the prospect of being attacked.  This is when the new player comes in.  At his first scream, McCoy goes racing to his side to bravely protect our boy from the terrifying claw.  She barks.  She jumps.  She runs from boy to claw and back again.  The whole thing turns into one great big 3 Stooges skit.  They all just think it is the most fun.  I have to admit, the uproar and mayhem that ensue is kind of funny.  But I still say – creepy!  Funny? Not so much.   I did say creepy, didn’t I?  :0

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