How Robin Williams Healed an Introverted Nature Girl, a Heart-Broken 20-Something and a Stressed Out Outdoorsy Mama: Motherhood Part Two

Although I may come across as chirpy and gregarious on paper, it’s not my comfort zone, and I’m actually prone to shyness and introversion with people. So growing up, I was always hanging with animals, trees, needing an escape from my social, people-filled days and turned – always – if not to nature, then to comedy.

I love to laugh.

It’s a release and it fills my body with the right chemical concoction in the same way that time in nature does. Joy. Happiness. Healing. Bucket filling.

Cue Robin Williams.

The Funniest Man on Earth. Still. Period.

I’m surprised at my own reaction to his death but the truth is: Robin Williams was a Bandaid of humor that has spanned my life, helping me tolerate, release and heal my insecurities and boo-boos. Like, perfecting the extraterrestrial, extra-ordinary Nanu-Nanu handshake as a shy little kid to bond with friends. Like, gasping in rare, laugh-out-loud laughter at the shockingly hilarious "Birdcage" remake I watched over and over during a heart-breaking late 20s break-up.

And, in the last 10 years, feeling SO privileged to live in the same county as Mork, Mrs. Doubtfire, and his other beloved characters and get the rare, also extraordinary treat to see him perform live as a frequent surprise guest at our local community theater Comedy Night in Marin County, California.

This, a vital and cure-ing boost to the bedraggled new mom of three that I’d become – breaking me out of my exhausted fog and giving me a wet-my-pants-in-a-GOOD-way, gut-splitting laugh on a Tuesday night. My babysitter watching the kids at home and me enjoying a child-free, nothing clinging to me moment at the Throckmorton Theater.

Just a crazy, hairy and hilarious Robin Williams.

I am but a blip in Robin Williams’ universe. One of the zillion faces he has etched permanent smile lines into. But he is a marked blip in mine. I will miss him for both me and for the world. 

And the solace I have is the knowledge that I’m one Netflix binge away from All Things Robin W.

-Outdoorsy Mama
Do you have a Robin Williams story?



  1. I love this, Annie! I don't have a story of a personal encounter, but last summer one of my college students told the class about a favorite day he had as a teenager. He and his buddies had skipped school and gone to the beach. They were stoned and sitting on a big blanket when Robin Williams walked over, planted himself among them, and cracked them up for the rest of the afternoon. In the classroom, we were all riveted as this student talked about one of his favorite days in his entire life. Yes, Robin Williams' mark was so big, and powerful, and wonderful. xo

    1. thanks anjie! i love it. that's the guy we'd see around too - often buying ice cream at our local shop or at the theater concession stand getting popcorn. in with us and not hiding from us. great story @ your student - and you know what, it probably made Robin W's day, too... xx