This blog is eventually going to have a bit of a spoiler in it from Guardians of the Galaxy. If you haven't seen the movie yet you should probably come back and read this again another time.
You should tell a pretty girl she's smart and a smart girl she's pretty. That's the advice I gave to Brent years ago. It comes from growing up the smart one. I always liked to be told I was pretty. And my best friend who was the pretty one like to be told how smart she was. Being told I'm smart or her being told she was pretty was expected. It's what people did. It didn't make it much of a compliment. But if you find a smart girl and tell her she's pretty? Now that's unexpected and taken as much more of a compliment. I wouldn't have believed you, but at least it would have been more unexpected.
Really, deep down, what I want you to tell me is that I'm funny. Funny trumps all. Always has. My dad was funny. My mother is nice and people talk about her smile and her laugh and how much they like that but my dad? My dad was funny. People talked about how he made them smile and made them laugh and that's even better.
If I can make you laugh, that full on true laugh? My day is better. I want you to smile when you think about me. Because your first thought is something funny. Or just that you know if you spend some time with me you are going to laugh. Tell me I'm funny. And be funny yourself. Then we will be friends forever.
But this comes with a warning...I'm funny. But I'm dark.
I told you about watching Bob's Burgers with C in Burlington and him saying that Louise reminds him of me. Now in the episode we were watching she was basically conning people for pie. And pretending to interpret for her sister but really just making up what ever amused her and saying that instead. When I pointed this out C said, "And?" Hmmm...so then we were watching another episode and she was messing with her sister pretending that a cow was sending her secret messages in its poop. Because it amused her. Again C's reaction was, "See?"
Okay...so this weekend we went to see Guardians of the Galaxy and when I talked to C on Sunday he had gone as well so we talked about the movie. And he said, "Rocket reminded me of you..." So in the movie Rocket Raccoon is like this mechanical genius and they are going to break out of prison. He needs a battery, a control pad from a guard's arm and the electronic prosthetic leg from one of the prisoners to break them out. Everyone goes about getting him what he needs, he matches the battery to the control panel and boom they are good to go! "What did you need the leg for?" "I didn't. I just thought it would be funny to make you take it." And that's what reminded C of his dear, sweet, mother.
And I laughed.
I could act insulted. And I tried with the Louise thing. But neither Brent nor C bought it for a second.The big grin on my face as I yelled, "HEY!" probably didn't help my insulted act at all. Because I'm not insulted that my son sees a character that is basically uncontrolled Id and thinks of me. I think it's funny. And it's somewhat true.
I have to say somewhat because no good parent is ever solid Id. You have to put aside things you want when you have kids. There are a lot of times you make decisions based strictly on what is best for them, not you at all. And not at all what you want the most or what you think would be the most fun. Being a parent (a good one at least) often means stepping back and being the grown up.
However...all that being said...anyway...
I still think it's funny. And it makes me smile that that is how he thinks of me.
Because I raised him on a steady diet of "Wouldn't it be funny if...." added to Roald Dahl books and Lemony Snicket stories and any number of darker than midnight comedies. He knew from a very young age that we in this house found certain things funny that other people might not. And that if he and I were riffing on a joke we might (probably would) take it a lot further than other people (including his father) and still think it was hilarious. "Wouldn't it be funny if..."
As a parent I did my job in teaching him not to use people for his own amusement. Even if it would be funny. But I also never really squashed that sense of humor about life. About the absurd things that happen. The things people say and do that are ridiculous. The ways they could be used against them in the most hilarious of ways. Use your powers for good not evil. Even if evil can be really funny. Don't actually do them... but..."wouldn't it be funny if..."
I never stopped sharing those thoughts with him because one of the best things in life is to make him laugh. That doubled over full on laugh. Another thing that makes me ridiculously happy? Seeing how much he digs making me laugh that same way. "Wouldn't it be funny if...."