If You’re Not Having Fun, You’re Doing Something Wrong

The problem with surprises is that you don’t see them coming. In hindsight, I wish I had recorded my Skype conversation with my kids on Father’s Day. As is our family tradition, they sang the Father’s Day song that I learned from a Groucho Marx cassette when I was young. The unexpected delight was that they were wearing Groucho glasses and holding chocolate cigars.

I was impressed by the way my children mimicked Groucho’s mannerisms. They mugged toward the camera, rolled their eyes skyward, and occasionally pretended to take a drag from their cigars. I asked if they had looked for Groucho clips on YouTube. They said no, they just remembered watching “Duck Soup” and other Marx Brother films with me. It made me feel like I had done a good job of parenting.

Toward the end of the conversation, they shared a great-looking cookies-and-cream cupcake. My son did a funny impression of “Cupcake Wars” judge Florian Bellanger when they cut it open. As we were talking, my DVR was recording last night’s episode, the theme of which was the L.A. Marathon. My daughter wondered if any of the contestants would mention the common malady that she and her friends have named the “unpleasantness at mile six.”

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