My Mom had a hilarious sense of fun and adventure. The first 13 years of her life were not happy ones and so in a sense, she missed her own childhood. Once she had her own family she was determined to experience all the fun she’d missed. No one loved a good joke or a surprise more than she did. You never knew when you’d find a rubber spider in your cup and games of any sort would inevitably end up being very lively indeed if she was participating. There was a lot of laughter in our house as I was growing up. The Bible says a cheerful heart is good medicine and I know that to be true.
One of my many favorite memories is of a visit home by my oldest brother, Richard, when my younger brother and I were around 12 and 13. Richard was 10 years older than me and we hadn’t seen him in quite some time. We lived in an old farmhouse with a huge open area upstairs. The boys had beds out in the open area and there were two small rooms partitioned off with paper thin walls for my parents and me. Bedtime often involved conversations through the walls followed by a round of ‘goodnights’ between all of us. Someone would always throw out a ‘goodnight JohnBoy’ at the end. We were fans of the Waltons at the time.
On this particular occasion as we all lay there in the dark, my mother was making observations about how thin Richard looked to her and asking him if he was getting enough to eat.
Richard groaned and fired back with an exasperated “Ma, I’m not thin…you should see my tits!”
Her instant response was “Richard, in this house we do not say tits”. There was a moment of embarrassed silence before she added in serious and extremely righteous tones, “In this house we say titties”.
The entire family erupted in peals of unrestrained laughter, the kind that has you falling off the bed or wondering if you’re about to pee your pants. Just when things would begin to calm down someone would snicker and we’d be off again. It was quite a while before we could control our giggles enough to say goodnight to the fictional ‘JohnBoy’.