Our parents mean something different to us at every age.
When I was a tiny little baby girl, with chlorine tangled blonde hair, sucking my thumb at fancy occasions, my dad was my comedian. When we were together, we were the uncontrollable, uninvited and unstoppable laughter in the room. My dad had a series of jokes that he would tell and that he would teach me over and over, year after year, always starting off with, “Jenny have you heard about..” and ending with “Jenny, get it.. get it..?” Always filling in the gaps and the silences with his own laughter. On the 435th time he would tell the same joke, he still laughed at it as if it was the first time he had ever told it. And I would laugh with him, because it’s really hard not to laugh, to crack open a smile, when you’re watching someone else do it. It’s as contagious as the chicken pox.
I text my dad every morning when I wake up. It is what gets me out of bed in the morning. Our conversations are not warm wishes of a smooth day ahead or forget-me-nots to remember our brown paper bagged lunch in the fridge or the jingles of our car keys. Our conversations are opening act-like material for a comedy show. At 7:45 am, I’m in bed laughing the eye crud right off my face. Imagine that! Our morning talks are swift and always end with the truth, an “I love you”
This is what we have done every morning since I left home, 6 years ago.
Sure, over the years my dad has taught me the essentials, the routine coming of age lessons: how to shoot hoops, the basics of fiscal responsibility, and even sometimes, he has thrown out some style tips that used to have me walking out of The Limited Too looking like a plaid wearing clown (I attribute my mis-matching infamous style to you, dad)! But it’s on a daily basis, for 24 years, that my dad has taught me how to laugh. When the bills are piling up, a long work day is ahead, the perils of life are dancing around my belly button, that reminder is what gets my bones moving in the morning, making sure I don’t leave the house without a smile, a joke or two in my purse, and the underlying notion to try very hard to not take things too seriously.
Today I share with you a few of the best texts from my dad and the mantra that life is too short to not wake up laughing. It is also too short to not laugh at your own jokes. Oh, and It goes by incredibly too fast to not be the ones causing the belly-aching laughter in the back of the room. Enjoy!
1. On the beneifts of making “dough”
2. On a crazy little thing called love
3. On following the leader
5. On fame
6. On purim
7. On forgiveness
8. On good morning
9. On National doughnut day
10. On being a Rockstar
Dad, no matter how far away I am from you, you’l always be the background laughter that pushes me to smile throughout the day. I love you like peanut butter loves jelly, like a lead guitarist loves their lead singer.