The Humor Of Childhood Always Keeps Me Laughing


It’s summertime, and school is out! What could be more exciting?

Even though my adult schedule keeps me from enjoying two or three months of total freedom, I do try to carve out more time for myself in the summer. I even sit and read sometimes.

I am currently rereading one of Erma Bombeck’s humor books and, even though the humor is dated, the writer inspires me nonetheless. No one looked at motherhood with a sense of humor until she came along — at least not publicly.

There are other little paperbacks focusing on humor that amuse me with their anecdotes about real life. My favorites are the ones with stories that quote children. No one tells the truth like a child, and the truth they tell is so unmarred by societal convention — or facts. I love to learn how these little people think as they try to interpret the world around them. It’s a world where, for them, every single thing is new and curious.

I read one story of a mother who drove through a cemetery quite often, since it was a shortcut between her home and her four-year-old’s school. One day, the kid told her he knows what happens to dead people.

The mother, no doubt worried she has harmed him for life with this shortcut, cautiously asked, “What happens to them?”

The kid replied, “They get buried and grow up to be statues.”

You can’t make up that kind of thing. Credit “Dear Dr. Humor” for sharing.

My daughter Jen also works to keep me in the kid humor loop. Even though she is working, she is doing everything she can to keep my grandkids entertained. Skippy, 4, is enrolled in summer camp. Tess, 2, continues at her day care — which is sort of a year-round summer camp anyway.

Last week it was water play day at camp, and Skippy was told to wear his swimsuit. So, Tessie demanded to wear hers, too, even though it was not water play day at her school. Who knows what her teachers thought, but Jen sent me photos of each kid absolutely slathered in sunscreen.

“You’re only supposed to use a little bit on your face, Tess!” Skippy instructed, even though he himself looked like a victim of that pie-in-the-face gag.

After camp, Jen took both kids to a gymnastics class for a free trial. Skippy, who has always been small and skinny for his age, was finally a champ at something, and Tess, whose energy is boundless, dominated the trampoline.

Both kids were in heaven. Yet as they were preparing to leave, Tess kept peering wistfully into the room where the older kids were practicing cheerleading. She wanted to go in.

“Let’s ask the coach,” Jen said.

They did, and the coach said, “If it’s OK with you…”

“It’s OK with me!” Tess yelled and ran on in. She started out watching from the sidelines, but was soon in the center of the room, flailing along with the best of them.

Kids. Summertime or not, you gotta love ’em!