There's a joke on my side of the family…
We call it "The Curse." It began with my grandmother, who, worn down by witty comebacks, told her young daughter in a fit of exasperation, "Someday you're going to have a daughter and she's going to be just LIKE YOU!" To begin with, stories about my grandmother's humor are legendary and retold to this day. She had a sort of warped, random humor that gave her a love of poetry such as this:
Starkle, starkle, little twink,Who the heck you are, I think?I'm not under the ocfluence of inkahol,Although some thinkle peep I are!Oh I fool so feelish, I don't know who is me,And the drunker I stand here, the longer I get.
Grandma was the one who would be going about her day and randomly say things like, "'BALLS!' cried the queen. 'If I had two, I'd be king!'" She was also the one who loved to retell the story of the time she went to the store and couldn't find the Tampax. The cashier called the stock boy over the intercom (yes, the whole store could hear) and asked him to bring some Tampax up to the check stand, but he misunderstood. Thinking she was asking for tacks, he called back over the intercom and asked, "Is that the kind you push in with your thumb, or pound in with a hammer?" My mother, who is also a bit warped and random, adds punny to the mix for good measure. Her particular brand of humor is a charming, self-deprecating kind of humor. She doesn't mind being the punchline sometimes, and she calls things as she sees them. (For example, dining room light fixtures are not "chandeliers" in our family, they're "table hats.")
"The Curse" apparently came true when I was born.
I am JUST like my mother. Although it seems with every generation, a new facet of humor develops. I've taken my grandma's warped randomness, combined with my mother's punniness, then added my own cerebral brand of dryness and an odd (rarely helpful) ability to memorize one-liners to it all. Lord, help me. And one day during my childhood, my mother, worn down by my witty comebacks, told me in a fit of exasperation, "Someday you're going to have a daughter and she's going to be just LIKE YOU!" When Winkerbean was born, I thought I'd escaped. She's just like her daddy.
But then Sweet Pea was born.
This girl is such a character! She describes being sick as when "your fever is sticking out and your nose is gone." She steps on the scale and says, "I'm just going to weigh my feet." And she threatens her sister with zingers like, "If you don't quit being bossy to me, God is going to turn you into salad dressing!" But is she really just like me? Everyone else says so. That scares me a little, because I realize more and more that it isn't just my humor that I'm passing on.
"A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained
will be like his teacher." —Luke 6:40
This verse tells me that I've got little disciples in my house, and when they're fully trained, each one of them will be like me in some way, family "curse" or not. By watching me, are they learning…
Not to take themselves too seriously? To have a gracious attitude toward others who inconvenience or wrong them?To open their Bibles and let God speak to their hearts on a regular basis?To persevere in prayer, even through the tough and boring parts of life? To put Jesus first before any other earthly loves?
I could get really freaked out about whether I'm a good enough example. But I'm not going to. Why? Because I'm going to screw it up regularly and have to repent before God and my kids. I'm going to have to let them know I've sinned and that by God's grace I'm becoming more and more like Jesus each day. I'm also not going to worry because we're told in Scripture not to be anxious about anything; but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let our requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:6) So I thank God for my Short People. I thank God for the weighty responsibility given to The Captain and me to disciple their little hearts. And I ask the Lord to begin his good work in them and bring it to completion himself, so that He, not I, will get the glory for that.
And the next time Sweet Pea cracks a joke about broken automobiles needing a "CAR-o-practor," I'm just going to hug her and say, "Someday I hope you have a daughter who's just like you."