I forgot how funny my kids are. And I’m wondering, do I get to take credit for that? Because I’m sort of funny. Maybe that’s something they got from me. Now that they’re firmly established adults, I like taking inventory of all my positive influences.
Then my dark side says, well, humor is what they developed to get through the darkness of your parenting. That’s an extremely self-deprecating and grim thing to say. I’ve found over time that you have to be careful with self-deprecation. It can quickly become a habit, like self-aggrandizement but way sadder. I try to avoid it at all costs.
Two of my kids came to dinner last night. Midway through dinner – which was okay, not my best effort, but soundly okay – filling, at least (read self-deprecation applied to cooking) – the dining room table began to feel like a comedy club.
It was rapid fire wisecracks and stories, remember when’s and what if’s. Outbursts of making fun of us, them, our shared history. And I thought, when did you guys get so funny?
They were always funny. I might not have forgotten if we hadn’t spent the last two years primarily talking to each other via texts and emojis. You can quip in a text, but you can’t riff. Mostly what you do in a text is convey – dates, times, work status, health problems, pet photos. The interaction is abbreviated and terse. Always with that wee bit of urgency: I’m sending you a message.
I liked last night’s message that I sent to the kids before they came over. You could pick up some chips. That would be nice. They brought two different kinds of chips and two years of stored-up wisecracks.
It was lovely.