What, are familial relationships not about winning? I’m sorry, I’m an only child, I never had to compete for parental favoritism with siblings. And I must admit, my son’s essay puts him slightly ahead of his sister in the race for my love. I’m totally kidding. I love them both, but you can’t love them the same, can you?…
As this is the end of the school year, all of my children’s work has slowly trickled into the house. You know, like the way Andy Dufrene releases the bits of wall in Shawshank? Tests, artwork, essays, scraps of scribble.
One of the prizes in the huge pile of things that will never make it to the circular file was a piece on who my son admires most. It started with this line, “I look up to my Dad and my Grandparents, but the person I admire most is my Mom.”
My first thought?
I won! Yep, you heard him. He admires you other people too (or maybe he just wrote that to be politically correct), but I’m in a class by myself. He said so…
What, are familial relationships not about winning? I’m sorry, I’m an only child, I never had to compete for parental favoritism with siblings. And I must admit, his essay puts him slightly ahead of his sister in the race for my love.
I’m totally kidding. I love them both, but you can’t love them the same, can you?
I fear I’ve gotten off track here. Right, I was on his beautiful essay. He went on to talk about the way I make everything better, whether he’s hurt or sad. How I make everything fun, and how I give tons of money to Haiti and Ethiopia. (Which is somewhat true… I don’t know about “tons” and I don’t know about Ethiopia, though I do bring up Ethiopia when my kids don’t eat anything on their plates. This is an unfortunate repercussion of growing up in the 80’s — a time when parents and Sally Struthers made you really appreciate your food.)
Bottom line: He’s so sweet! I mean, what a lovely tribute to his most favoritist person EVER. Well, the person he admires most, but we all know what that means. As tears welled up in my eyes, a worrisome thought came to mind.
Does he NOT think I’m funny?
Through my teary eyed blurred vision I perused his ode over and over, and no mention of how funny I am, which was insulting, and upsetting, and unsettling. I mean, this is what I do for a living. Well, if you call trading hours of toiling in front of the computer, in a fake office also known as Barnes & Noble, for minimum pay and the hopes of a free pair of stilettos, a living.
Here’s the thing, if you’re a humorist and your own family doesn’t find you funny, well, it’s like being a marriage counselor who’s never had a long term relationship. A sex therapist who’s a virgin. Scout Willis without a fake ID.
In my defense, kid humor is totally different than adult humor, it relies on jokes about puking, pooping, bleeding, the ability to voice what your pets would say, and impersonations of characters you may only see on YouTube. But, I put in the work. I sling knock knock jokes, one liners, puns – I’ve perfected my Annoying Orange, I’ll fart/burp to punctuate a sentence and I can talk diarrhea as easily as Kristin Stewart talks awkward gibberish (seriously, I never know what the hell she’s talking about).
My house is like a Caroline’s for elementary schoolers, but I don’t charge admission — I simply require you laugh at my jokes if you’d like to be fed. Oh, and you mention my hilarity in essays so that years later when you’ve left me for your own families, I’ll have something to read as I rock in the corner of a dark room sucking my thumb. Sheesh, is that too much to ask?
I guess I’ll have to revel in the strong points he mentioned – my ability to “make it all better.” Plus, I should really give more to charity or at least send some of my leftovers to Ethiopia.
To my daughter: You should consider upping your game with the poetry you’ve been writing. I’m gonna need more rhyming if you want to stay competitive.
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