Make Me Laugh Till I Cry (tf)

I don’t have any grandchildren. I’m still working on this generation. If I had to deal with my kid’s kids I might take a header off the Harrison Avenue bridge.

I have two girls. Ages 12 and 9. You can send me sympathy cards if you want but I don’t expect them. Plus you wouldn’t know what to say.  Both of my kids are gorgeous, well-mannered, extremely intelligent, and altogether incredibly loveable. It could be a lot worse.

Thankfully it isn’t.

They have me completely flummoxed. They get me to say “yes” to things that I’m not aware I’m saying yes to. They take my money. They tell me what I’m allowed to do and when I’m allowed to do it. They make fun of the way I dress. They make fun of my gray hair. They make fun of my music. They send me into the basement to watch TV and into the bedroom to read. And through it all they make me smile and laugh and brag about them to anyone who’ll listen, utterly astounded that somebody as ordinary as myself could possibly have half-created 2 such extraordinary beings.

And while I’m certainly in no hurry for grandchildren, what awaits me in that department staggers the imagination. If I’m capable of them, what might they be capable of?

I’m not sure anybody who is not a parent really knows what love feels like. True, crazy, out-of-your-mind love. The kind that keeps you awake nights worrying, and gives your dreams the soft edge needed for a deep sleep. The kind of love that makes you say stupid things and do things even more stupid than the things you say. The sort of love that’s irrational but nearly everybody understands regardless. To be a parent is to let a child borrow your heart every single day, knowing that someday they may not return it. Or at least, may not return it in the condition it was in when it was taken out the door.

It’s scary is what it is. Not sure it’s any easier than it used to be. But I do think we’ve more to be fearful of than our parents. As a 12-year-old I’d disappear for hours with my friends…roaming the neighborhood. And my parents were on the strict side. I was probably never farther than a loud voice could carry. But still, such leeway today would border on the irresponsible. I’m not sure if this is driven by reality or a fear soaked 24-7 news cycle, but I’m not willing to be the focus group to find out. I’ll leave that to others.

When my eldest daughter is out of my sight she’s always being supervised by an adult, and even that doesn’t stop me from bombarding her with an endless barrage of cell-phone calls and text messages, checking on her. Where are you now? Where will you be in 10 minutes? When are you coming home? I drive her crazy but she’s pretty cool about it. And boys haven’t even entered the picture yet. She knows my behavior is nothing compared to what it will be when 16-year-old males start hovering around my mail-box. I may put a GPS device in her ear and force the boys to stand in place for mug shots. So right now I think she’s sorta enjoying her freedom, so to speak.

As for my youngest? Forget it. I still carry her over puddles and offer to tie her shoes.

They are the only 2 people in the world who can make me cry. Sometimes for no reason at all.

–Tom Flannery

~ by admin on April 24, 2011.

One Response to “Make Me Laugh Till I Cry (tf)”

  1. I couldn’t have said it better. Our girls always surprise me.

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