Our 10-year-old Jack has been one of God’s greatest gifts. In Jack, I got my own personal entertainer, and in me, Jack got his adoring audience and live laugh track. His sense of humor and quick wit continually save me from despair, especially after last night, when I hand-fed my weakened father his dinner, helplessly watching him decline from Stage 4 prostate cancer.
Monday, Jack was off of school (for what seemed like the 10th time since Winter Break, which ended January 5th) so we did our dentist appointments together. He decided that my prosthetic crystal meth hillbilly teeth (pictured above) would make the visit “more interesting,” which they did…for the hygienist and the office manager. Thank God there are still adults out there with a sense of humor, and an accompanying sense of noblesse oblige.
Last week, Jonesy the cat, who exhibits an unfortunate case of arrested development and still tries to nurse on everyone, crawled under the covers and proceeded to bite Dave on the balls. Jack and I were absolutely doubled over, howling with laughter. The text speak “ROFL” is reserved for moments like this one. (It made me wonder for a brief moment if Jonesy was my Secret Santa this year?!?) The next morning at breakfast, Jack queried Dave:
“So…did Jonesy bite your onions this morning, or did she leave your garden alone?!?” You don’t often comments like that at 7 a.m. , especially from 10-year-olds. Jack definitely takes the sting out of the heaviness in our lives at this moment.
Jack has always demonstrated great comedic timing. I first recognized this while driving him home from pre-school one afternoon. On that particular day, the pre-school had a visiting zoo and Jack was in his little car seat in the back, in his high-pitched little boy voice, regaling me with tales of his animal adventures. He shared that he had petted the pony, and I immediately asked if he had washed his hands (he’s allergic to animal hair, hence our hairless cat) and he reassured me that he did.
And then Jack proceeded onward: “So I got to ride the pony.”
Me: “You di-i-i-id?” (Said in that adult, patronizing, sing-song way of speak we do to our children.)
Jack: “And not only did I ride the pony, but I crawled up onto his back…and then I did a handstand…and then I balanced upside-down…on one finger!”
At this point, my theater of the mind was blowing circuits. I nearly drove off the road laughing at this ridiculous visual.
Mother of the Year retorted: “So what did you do for an encore!?! Blow firecrackers out of your ass?”
To which Jack replied, without skipping a beat: “No…but the pony did!” At this point, I totally lost my shit. I could barely make the five-minute drive home, howling with laughter all of the way there. That one earned him a Dairy Queen, although he was befuddled by all of the fuss.
So when the 4th grade teacher asked him yesterday what he wanted to be when he grew up, he answered, “A comedian,” with zero hesitation, responding in that what-a-ridiculous-question tone that infers “Of course…what else would I be?!”
Jack knows if he follows this pursuit, he’ll always have an appreciative audience of at least one.