Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Laughter (10/18/04)
TITLE: Laughter-The Medicine for a Parent
By Kathleen Shelton
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Kids are inventive! If we could somehow capture and retain the imagination and creativity that they have, we would always find a way to accomplish any task set in front of us. We lived across from a ball park for a stint where the kids would love to go and play ball. Day after day, they would go play. My middle daughter (Patti) is legally blind, light perception in her right eye, 20/400 in her left with no peripheral vision. And she played! I couldn’t figure out how she was hitting the ball, so one day, I snuck across the street to watch. When it came to her turn to bat, I nearly gave myself away, laughing so hard. The pitcher promptly walked over to the side, picked up a blown up condom and just a few steps in front of her, threw her “ball”. One of the children was taking his fathers’ condoms so that she could play.
James was just five years old and very small for his age. There was a bully who decided that he would pick upon James. Day after day, James would come home from school crying. One day he came home crying; not because of bruises, but, because of hurt pride. Patti had jumped in and beat up the bully and the kids started teasing him about hiding behind his sisters’ skirts. The next day, he came home laughing. Patti had put the bully in place by informing him that he had been the one beat up by a girl and a blind one at that. Needless to say, that ended the bully days.
Sherry, my oldest was a live wire. Always on the go. In fact, I believe that if she was small nowadays, the doctors would be recommending drugs to calm her down. One day, she was just go, go, go, nonstop. I was frustrated and aggravated and just about at my wits ends when I snapped at her “do you have ants in your pants”. She looked at me with a puzzled expression for a brief moment, pulled her pants down and looked inside and with all seriousness replied “no mommy, no ants.” How could a parent remain irritated?
My kids thought I was super woman, that there was nothing I couldn’t do. One day I answered my door to see this big, extremely big man standing in front of me. “I heard you wanted me to come over so you could whip my a__” were his first words. I was dumbfounded and stumped! My kids had told his kids that I could beat their daddy any day of the week and for him to come over. After an explanation from the kids, laughter brook loose and I ended up with a very nice and yes “protective” neighbor. Can you imagine our kids chagrin when we became friends?
Sherry decided to experiment with alcohol. One Friday night she asked if she could go out with JD. I told her to make sure she was home by midnight. Just before midnight, she staggered and stumbled in, held up a half empty bottle of Jack Daniels and slurred “Mom, meet JD!” (I believe that kept her alive and me out of prison that night.)
One day, I got a call from a very irate mother of a friend of James. Just a few days before that, he had asked me what a prostitute was. I explained to him that it was a woman who slept with a man for money. When he asked why they did that, I replied (hoping to stress the importance of school) that most of these women did not have the education to get a good paying job, so they did the only thing they knew to do to make money. He had spent a night with his friend and the next morning saw her husband give her money. He went around telling everyone that she was a dumb prostitute.
“Thank You Yahweh for giving laughter to a parent”
Kathleen Ann Shelton