I distinctly remember moments in my childhood when I realized my family was not exactly like every other family. Specifically, I learned time and time again, that the rest of the world was not fluent in the language my Father had developed.
I still remember the blank look on my second-grade teacher’s face when I told her that the boys bathroom was out of terlet wipe. I received a similar reaction from a Little League coach when I was explaining that a ball had struck me in the crotch. He seemed to be completely unaware that boys are equipped with a pair of “double rejunctifiers.”
There have been several relatives whose actual names I never learned until their obituaries have published.
Anyone who knows my Dad well, cannot be surprised at the contents of my column from week to week.
Although I haven’t developed my own language, as he did, there are definitely a few unusual practices in our household that my kids just assume are normal. This struck me a couple of weekends ago.
I was in the kitchen cooking when there was a knock at the door. There was a man there, asking if we were missing a dog. I told him we were not. As I went to shut the door, I noticed the man was still looking me up and down as he backed away.
It dawned on me eventually, that I might have looked a little odd to him. Earlier in the day, the boys and I had been wrestling in the living room. I was pretending to be Kamala, the Ugandan Giant. In an attempt to be authentic, I had stripped down to my boxers and drawn stars on each pectoral and a large crescent moon on my belly with magic markers.
I had answered the door in full costume.
When I explained to the kids what had happened with the visitor they seemed surprised. They clearly saw nothing unusual about me answering the door with a painted bosom. Callum crinkled his nose as he was clearly trying to make sense of it all. “So…” he started, “This guy doesn’t like Kamala?”