I look quizzically at the parent who’s just spoken.
Me: “Whose husband?”
“Your husband! On the camping trip!” she exclaims.
“I heard that too!” chimes in a second parent.
“Oh, yeah, he had everybody laughing!” confirms a third.
“Are you surprised? You’ve been together almost 20 years. You have 4 kids with the man. Don’t you think he’s funny?” inquires a fourth.
Me: “Yes. No. I mean, yes, he is hilarious. No, I’m not surprised he had everyone laughing.”
I just figured I’d have heard it directly from the belle’s mouth.
I love stories. I read them voraciously, covering the words so I don’t jump ahead at times. I tell them animatedly, mimicking my characters mannerisms carefully. And I write them painstakingly, hoping my voice jumps off the page for my readers.
When my husband returned home from a school camping trip with our oldest son last month, the story lover in me was eager to hear him dish. Who won the kickball game? Who cooked dinner over the fire? Who caught the most fish? Who woke up with the worst bedhead?
Me: “How was it?”
Him: “It was one of the best experiences of my life. Unbelievable!”
Yes! I salivated…Do tell…
Him: “First of all, do you know why they call a rifle a rifle?”
Me: “Come again?”
Him: “This is so interesting.” He looks down at an imaginary rifle in his hands, “In the chamber…”
I wave my hands in an attempt to dissipate the onslaught of ennui threatening to invade my space.
Me: “That’s not what I meant..”
Him: “I can’t believe you don’t find that interesting.” He looks at me, shaking his head.
Him: “OK, I know you’ll love this…”
I pant like a dog. Poised to sprint for the frisbee he’s about to throw me.
Him: “Do you know how the German Americans were able to keep the coal fires burning?”
I don’t have the heart to cut him off a second time. I glaze over, nod at all the appropriate times, and wait for one of our kids to enter the room, interrupting his train of thought. And saving me from this history lesson. He drones on. I am Charlie Brown. He is my teacher.
“WAH wa wah wa WAH wah.”
Is he funny? Yep. Is he a storyteller? Nope.
Gosh, oh, gosh.
Me: “What’s up, buddy?”
My oldest son sits at the computer, his head in his hands.
Boy #1: “I have to write a book recommendation for school. Last month’s was 300 words. This month’s has to be 350 words!”
Oh the horrors.
Me: “Honey, your Dad has farts that last longer than it takes to write 350 words.”
He rolls his eyes.
Boy #1: “For you maybe. You’re a storyteller. I’m…well, I’m not. I prefer math.”
I have to give him credit. He knows himself. He gave me the the final score of the kickball game.
But I’m still waiting to hear who had the worst bedhead.
Like father…like son.
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