Wednesday, July 06, 2011

A Time to Laugh

Take an epic drive, Fourth of  July traffic, and a whole lot of togetherness in close proximity. Mix in late nights, early mornings, and generous helpings of chocolate. Eliminte any semblance of routine. Top it all off with scorching temperatures.

Shaken or stirred, you end up with a bunch of quarreling malcontents who need a little talking to.

Should you be the one doing the talking, mind the words you use. You might just fixate on the point that not a single, solitary  parental request of late has been met with a simple "Yes, Mom" or "Yes, Dad". You might be led to offer a sampling of the less than optimal responses that have passed your way:

But I didn't make the mess ...
But there's nothing to do ...
But he started it ...
But I don't feel like reading ...

The children in question just may be of the male persuasion, and if it escapes your notice that each and every example began with the word but, trust me, it won't escape theirs.

When they begin laughing their heads off, you have two choices. One, you can finish the decapitation or, two, you can join in.

All of this just might bring to mind an anecdote from your teenage years when you and your older sister occasionally took the family car and drove it until it ran out of gas. I mean, if you have two bucks to spare, do you refuel or swing by McDonald's for a large fries? No contest.

So there you are driving on fumes. And suddenly you aren't. Instead, you're running down Maple Road in a torrential downpour headed for who knows where, trying to figure out what to do about the car. And then another car pulls up, a car that happens to be driven by your father who has just noticed a second vehicle belonging to him abandoned on the side of the road. And perhaps he is just a tad perturbed by this whole state of affairs.

He opens the door. You and your sister dutifully climb in. Dear old Dad launches into a tirade of epic proportions that concludes with that classic line You don't have the sense to come in from the rain.

Given the inclement weather, you and your sister just may be overcome with a fit of mirth that simply cannot be contained. Your father -- though in rare form and thoroughly irritated in the face of your moronic behavior -- is, in fact, one of the best souls ever. He, too, will see the humor in the situation and burst out laughing as well.


kviz said...

Oh, Kelly - this was great.
Let me tell you that I had a whole new perspective on difficult road trips after letting one of those smart-alek kids take the wheel on our recent Ohio trip. Said kid is driving 80 mph, one hand on the wheel, fiddling with ipod in other hand, in the midst of thick traffic. And wonders why I am so nervous. Sheesh.

Kelly said...


I heard the term "texting like a teenage driver" recently and didn't know whether to laugh or cringe.

I guess there are worse things than fighting over the last Oreo.

Love ya.

Patti Doughty said...

Isn't it amazing how our temper is curtailed when the Lord reminds us of those stories from our own history? Your father is truly a great man. May we all be as patient, understanding, and humor-filled.