Over the last couple weeks, I’ve gotten to enjoy some much-needed down time with my family. My husband found himself with two weeks’ layoff and I made up my mind to try to enjoy as much of it with him as possible. Because our work schedules are in opposition to each other, our time together at home is typically in shorter bursts during the week, with only one weekend day off in common. Two weeks with him at home yields at least a handful of days for quality time.
One of the more interesting things about having young adult children is that we’re never quite sure when we’ll see them, even though they’re currently still living at home. They have lives, and we’re not always certain what that means on a given day of the week. Just when we think we have a day when four—or even all five—of us will be together for a meal, at least two of them take off with a wave, and just like that, our plans are flipped completely. Or the opposite: we plan on a “date” day and everyone’s plans suddenly cancel—and so does our date day.
Even so, it’s fun when we get to spend time with them, especially one at a time. More often than not, it’s with our daughter, Ellie, since she doesn’t have her driver’s license quite yet and is stuck with us. Being the good parents we are, we decided to drag her on a hike or two with us last week.
As we wandered through trails I hadn’t been on in years, I found myself observing Tim and Ellie as they interacted, and I noticed the funniest thing. She has, for better or worse, inherited her father’s sense of humor and habits. And the more she spends time with him (which is considerable, since we homeschool and he works evenings), the more she’s like a female mini-Tim.
This particular hike resulted in the two of them making up songs in which the second verse is typically along the boop-boop-a-doop-uh-huh-huhhhhh vein—because both of them can come up with almost any song lyric on the fly, but they each putter out after the first verse. And the songs are almost always sung like one of three people: Ethel Merman, Jerry Lewis, or some random back-in-the-day Jewish comedian like Jackie Mason. There is no variance. The songs must fit one of those voices or they don’t happen. If they run out of uh-huh stuff, they turn to sad trombone music.
Yes, this is what I live with on a regular basis. In our house, we call this “You plant corn, you get corn.” I guess there are worse things our kids can grow up to be. And, deep down, I don’t think Ellie has any reservations about being this particular brand of corn, as is evidenced by her photo of us toward the end of our hike: