I am reaching the age now when I should be careful how I joke. I’ve always been told I have a great sense of humor and I know I have a dry wit. I’ve made jokes with my kids all their lives. Suddenly every joke I make is met with a look like they don’t realize it’s a JOKE, and they wonder if I know what I’m saying.
It started several years ago when I had a good job, but quit it to go to grad school. I had my children in my thirties so you do the math . . . about how old I was . . . when two of them came home from college for Christmas and I announced at the end of the school year (I was teaching) . . . in late May or early June, I was quitting my job, moving to the beach and going to grad school. Oh, the look that passed between those two college kids of mine was priceless. It got even worse when I said their baby brother was happy about it. . . yeah? Their baby brother was fifteen years old! What did he know? And there went that look again.
Well, I did quit my job, moved and had two of the best years of my life going to grad school full time and living at the beach. My baby boy and I both graduated the same year. Him from high school and me from UNCW. I didn’t think to notify the newspaper, but a few years later, I saw a story about a mother and son who had done basically the same thing – one graduated from high school while the other got a college degree the same year.
Tonight my oldest came by for a surprise visit. I didn’t even know she was in the area until I took the dog out and there was her car! Oh, what a nice surprise! We went out to dinner and as we left the restaurant and she began complaining about having to go to work tomorrow . . . I said for her to call her boss and tell him she’d come to see me and I was sick and she had to stay a day or two! She looked at me and said she’d need a doctor’s note. Well, I suggested Dr. Mike would be glad to write one. Oh, no . . . there went that look again. Dr. Mike is out vet. She told me that. With that look in her eyes, she said, “Mom, Dr. Mike is a veterinarian”. Yeah, I know that.
At a certain age, I guess the joking has to stop, but I don’t think I can quit kidding around with my adult children. I enjoy their company and when they’re around, I’m almost giddy.
My baby boy lives in China now. We skype from time to time. When I tell him about how his brothers are worried about my mental capacities, he said they’re worried about Alzheimers. Yeah? Well, that will bother them more than it bothers me. (I’ve helped care for an Alzheimers patient. She seemed far less concerned about her condition than her family was.) My youngest laughed when I told him that. Well, that time I wasn’t kidding.
I guess as long as I know they think I’ve lost my mind, it’s safe to say I haven’t.