Denise McDonald Dorman

How I’ve Been Successful As A Mom

In Entertainment, Life Observations, WriteBrain Media on May 6, 2010 at 5:46 pm

Today, my young Paduan proved to me that he had graduated to Jedi Knight status… in the crucial art of practical jokery.

At breakfast this morning, my five-year-old insisted that I sit on a kitchen chair where he had gently placed his favorite fleece Clone Wars blanket, ostensibly to protect me from sitting down on a not-too-cold chair.  In retrospect, our kitchen chairs are upholstered, so that should have been my first red flag.  Something felt a little extra cushiony as I descended onto the chair….red flag #2. As the Whoopie cushion erupted into reverberating sound f/x that would have startled an elephant, I felt my heart grow 10 x larger, just like the Grinch’s after he experienced that first moment of true affection for mankind.  Every time my son makes me laugh like that, my heart grows a little more.

As we continued with breakfast, over Lucky Charms (his) and Dunkin’ Donuts coffee (mine), fiercely debating the real appearance of the Abominable Snowman (he insists the Abominable Snowman has orangey red eyes, whereas I insist his eyes would be blue to match his icy environs), I had a revelation. If I kick the bucket tomorrow, I could go with the knowledge that Jack  has  learned the greatest life skill of all  – an imaginative,  killer sense of humor. It’s what’s gotten me through all of life’s challenges – many of which have been arrows hurling towards me this past 24 months, but my sense of humor has always remained intact, the impenetrable armor protecting me. And now I know it’s protecting my young Jedi Knight.

I shared this revelation during my daily phone call with best friend Christina Bouvier, who informed me that this was the real reason she gravitated toward being my friend in 7th grade – I was the naive, perfect foil for her practical jokes, plus I’m quick to laugh at anything funny, so I was her best audience. Now I’m Jack’s best audience, too.

I purchased Jack’s first Whoopie cushion when he was four. My husband Dave was appalled, but I insisted it was a rite of passage. I’m glad I persisted. In the past year, he’s learned the fine art of sarcasm and eyeball rolling from Dave, but he’s learned pratfalls, practical jokes and scatological humor from me.  That, and a few comedic lines from favorite YouTube videos.

When Jack gets just a little older, I will teach him the lyrics to my favorite song, a clever tune from Monty Python, which sums up my life’s philosophy, bright-eyed optimist that I am and will always be:

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

Words and music by Eric Idle

Some things in life are bad
They can really make you mad
Other things just make you swear and curse.
When you’re chewing on life’s gristle
Don’t grumble, give a whistle
And this’ll help things turn out for the best…

And…always look on the bright side of life…
Always look on the light side of life…

If life seems jolly rotten
There’s something you’ve forgotten
And that’s to laugh and smile and dance and sing.
When you’re feeling in the dumps
Don’t be silly chumps
Just purse your lips and whistle – that’s the thing.

And…always look on the bright side of life…
Always look on the light side of life…

For life is quite absurd
And death’s the final word
You must always face the curtain with a bow.
Forget about your sin – give the audience a grin
Enjoy it – it’s your last chance anyhow.

So always look on the bright side of death
Just before you draw your terminal breath

Life’s a piece of shit
When you look at it
Life’s a laugh and death’s a joke, it’s true.
You’ll see it’s all a show
Keep ’em laughing as you go
Just remember that the last laugh is on you.

And always look on the bright side of life…
Always look on the right side of life…
(Come on guys, cheer up!)
Always look on the bright side of life…
Always look on the bright side of life…
(Worse things happen at sea, you know.)
Always look on the bright side of life…
(I mean – what have you got to lose?)
(You know, you come from nothing – you’re going back to nothing.
What have you lost? Nothing!)
Always look on the right side of life…

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