I used to be a serious person, but something changed after I had children. Not only was I outnumbered, but their behavior was so comical that it made me see an entirely different way of looking at life. I realized quickly that I would have to silently surrender and join their circus-like crusade if I wanted to come out on top.
Humor never came easily for me; you can ask anyone. I've never been able to tell a joke. Plus, it was my sister's role when we were growing up. But I'm catching up to her now, giving her a run for her money. We're like the Venus and Serena Williams of puns, except we're not black and I've never played tennis.
I still can't really deliver a punch line though, and here's the reason why.
It's because I'm a writer. I ponder. I make observations and take mental notes and turn them into delayed gratification for others...and I like it.
So I guess that makes me a serious humorist; a revised version of my former self. Hopefully it's not an epidemic, because I really want to be the only one. It's like a multiple personality that took a long time to integrate.
Sure, I can still be poetically somber, but not for very long. It's difficult to stay in character when all of my kids are trying to talk at once.
Even when they do, though, they are still the best thing that has ever happened to me. They have probably added years to my life by forcing me to laugh, although they will debate this and ask, “Then why do you always tell us we are going to give you a heart attack, Mom?” They have saved me from my serious self, innocently submerging it to make room for their childhood.
I will always be an introvert; some things will never change. And I know my quiet side will always be there when I need it, and sometimes I still do.
But I need my children the most.
I need to hear their laughter and they need to hear mine, which is why I almost always let them win.