The kids are alright.

Paul is shouting up the stairs. “Children, I mean nasty little creatures that live upstairs, time for lunch!” Evelyn 18, Nick 16 and Monique 13 come bounding down the stairs and join me at the table. I am busy working on two notebook computers. I am Repairing Nick’s laptop for the fifteenth time because he has contracted yet another virus and on the other obsessively connected to the Internet.


Paul surprisingly, is organizing photographs. I say surprisingly, because if you knew Paul, you would know that there is rarely a time when he is not organizing. As Paul places photos in front of me he says “Why don’t I have a pseudonym on your Blog?” I tell him that I am using the French spelling of his name and begin shifting through the pile of photographs in front of me.

I begin to convulse with laughter and suddenly, Evelyn, Nick and Monique are at my side asking what is so funny. “This picture of your father is priceless. I think the collar on that shirt is bedazzled!” Paul, feigning annoyance snatches the picture out of my hands and says “As you can tell, my mother went through a time when she loved to embroider”. I say, “Well, I have to thank your mother, because this is the blouse that turned you Gay. You could take that picture to a therapist and all you would need to say is ‘see’?”

Then Paul finds his driver’s license from twelve years ago in a folder and throws it in front of me. I pick it up and my laughter is suddenly silenced and replaced with a “Yes sir!” It’s the same handsome face, but with a beard. This is something I have not seen before and it’s doing things for me. Paul then grabs the license back and says "OK, you're enjoying this too much.  It's creeping me out."

Absent-mindedly, Evelyn asks “I wonder how long it would take to pass out if you put a plastic bag over your head?” Now, most parents at this point would A) Be alarmed that their child would ask such a question, B) Ask if there is anything they would like to talk about? And C) Make an appointment pronto with a psychologist. But I say “Let’s Google it.” After I have found the answer I say “Apparently, two to three minutes.” Evelyn replies simply with “Huh.”

Paul has ignored this entire conversation and is still hung up on the whole taking the photo to therapy thing and says “I’ll tell you why I need therapy. I don’t have any Gay children, they are all hopelessly straight.” Nick looks at me across the table and with mock shame says “Billy, I am attracted to girls” Monique rolls her eyes, smiles and while patting his arm says “It’s OK Nick, we’re all family here. No judgments.” Evelyn is done with lunch and says “Thank you parental units.” And Paul replies “You’re welcome straight child.” as he kisses the top of her head.

Now, I know how this must sound to the average person; Plastic bags over your head, therapists, turning gay? The simple answer is humor is our medicine.  We joke with our five children about being straight or Gay, because we know that we’re all pre-wired and the world is far too serious about it. In short, we treasure their strange little twisted minds and love all five of them with all of our heart. We love them enough to allow them free reign of their imaginations and teach them what a wonderful coping tool humor is. We also love them enough to set boundaries and impose discipline when necessary. We’re a typical family and really, the kids are alright.

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