Monday, January 12, 2009

Old Joke

I can already tell that the funny will not translate, but I find the story irresistibly tellable. Try to listen to your sense of humor when you read this one:

My kids, for whatever odd reason, like to pull old yearbooks off the shelf and ask me to identify the faces. Sometimes they know the people -- teachers or kids from the school where I work and they attend. Sometimes the kids in the pictures long since graduated. This is my 14th year there, after all.

As I was showing Peaches, our two-year-old, the album from 2001, I found myself realizing she'd asked me something, but I had zoned out remembering people, marvelling at how some people had changed, feeling sentimental about the passage of time, thinking about how in 2001 my husband and I had not even yet married... I scrutinized my younger face, of course, and missed it in all it's smoothness, and remembered how then I wasted time missing some yet even younger self, while my then-boyfriend warned me, "Enjoy your vigors!" Meanwhile, earth to mommy! Peaches demanded to know, "And who's THAT one? That one? That one right there?"

After a while, and several deep sighs, I told her we needed to brush her teeth. She paused en route to the bathroom in front of a photo I have framed of my mom at about age four. I love the black and white photo because my mom looks so happy and so very fresh and young, because my grandma cherished that photo, and because I know the whole back story of my mom's fancy cowgirl ensemble. Peaches (remember, she's two) pointed to the picture and said, "That's Grandma." I concurred -- that IS grandma. "She doesn't look the same." I concurred again -- barey recognizable. I told her, "People change." She stared me down a moment, very eye-to-eye, and sighed knowingly, sagely. As she turned on her heel to go brush teeth with her Winnie the Pooh toothbrush, she lamented forlornly, "That is SAD."

See, it doesn't read funny. But I can barely stop. She just cracks me up. Thank goodness. If not, how ever would I get over myself?

We're trying to enjoy all the vigors over here. I suggest you do the same. (More giggles.)


Mama Mara said...

It read funny! Am plotzing over here.

What's really weird: I was doing the EXACT same thing with my Rocky yesterday. (I'm meeting an old high school pal for coffee that I haven't seen in 20 years.) First, I was laughing with Rocky about my horrible '80s Jewfro, and then I started to laugh/cry when I found that a friend of mine had written in my yearbook, "Live it up while we're young" (she died in a car wreck when she was 30).

Rocky took one look at my emotional wigout and said, "Mom, maybe you shouldn't look back."


pixiemama said...

Sad, indeed!