By Lisa Lucke
Lately, I’ve felt lost. I’ve felt…separated from something important. Recently, I put my finger on it, and came up with what it is I need to locate: my sense of humor. More specifically, I need to find my sense of humor at critical times of the day when it seems so very far away from me.
There are times when I really could use a good laugh, like around seven-thirty in the morning, as my eleven-year old son gets into the shower when he should be getting into the car. Now, this doesn’t mean I want one of my eight-year old daughters to walk up to me and say, “Knock-knock!” like they’re so famous for. It means that I simply wish I could embrace my son’s eleven-year-oldness with a smile and perhaps, just maybe, a brief roll of the eyes and a funny-sounding cussword, like “fiddlesticks,” instead of a silent “Mother F!” and a not-so-silent foot stomp that sends my other three children scurrying for cover like infantrymen into a foxhole.
Why can’t I just roll with the punches? Why can’t I be more like Carol Brady and throw my perfectly coiffed head back and laugh it off?
Sometimes, the need for a sense of humor strikes in the middle of the night – when I least expect it. Surprisingly, it isn’t any easier to come up with a lighthearted perspective at two a.m. when the family beagle is howling in two part harmony with the sound of daughter number three puking. I try so hard at those times to conjure up the spirit of Erma Bombeck, or even Marge Simpson, women who showed the world how to navigate the streets of domestic Crazytown with their eyes closed and wearing a grin from ear to ear. As my husband breaks for daughter’s room, I sprint down the stairs to rescue the dog, where he’d been trapped in the eleven year-old’s room – since eight. I was too late. Thank goodness the dear boy didn’t have his sleep interrupted – by the noise or the odor.
About that time I realize that pubs all over town are announcing “last call” which means that technically, it’s an acceptable time to relax and have a cocktail. I pour one. Sure enough, I’m just beginning to feel funny, when it all comes crashing down around me.
“Watcha doin’?” My husband asks as he pads down the stairs, and sees me sitting on the couch, in the dark.
“Just hanging out, enjoying a Scotch.”
Silence. The worry lines on his forehead deepen into Everest-like crevasses.
“Honey,” he says gently, carefully sitting down next to me.
“Yes,” I respond cautiously.