I Should Not Help You Move


If given the opportunity to put creepy eyes under a stairwell, that opportunity must be taken. That alone is not why I should not help you move though. No, I need steer clear of helping you move because I bring kids along. And kids say some wildly inappropriate things.  

My great aunt and uncle are leaving their home of 33 years to move nearer their grandchildren.  That means 33 years of life, kids, careers, impulse buys, forgotten souvenirs, furniture repairs that were almost completed, and lots of stuff that needs to be tossed, packed or donated.  My wife, kids, and I hoped into a car and traveled to the slowly emptying house this afternoon to help out.

The weather was ridiculously hot peaking at 101 degrees (Fahrenheit.  The trees were not melting).  As the hottest time of the day approached, my sons were ordered in doors.  My oldest protested for a beat, but my dad suggested a soccer ball be taken to the empty basement.

This suggestion was odd for my five year old son to hear.  “No, the balls are outside toys.  They are dirty balls.”  Then he stepped out of the room and made his way downstairs to play.  He was so matter-of-fact and so unaware of what he said, it was hilarious.

He did not want to make a mess! I should have been happy he was so mindful of other people’s stuff, but I giggled and hanged my head in shame (laughing still).

In the room alongside my son, my father and myself were my grandmother, great aunt and great uncle.

My grandmother and great aunt are twins.  In their 70 some odd years of life, they have created this incredible ability to say the exact same thing at the exact same time.  Generally that thing is the most recent funny phrase.

What followed can only be described as an echo chamber of nightmares as the twins, my grandma and great aunt, said “oh no, can’t play with dirty balls,” and, “no dirty balls downstairs.”

I stood over a box containing an giant pig shaped piggy bank and a smaller, less pig shaped piggy bank and lost any ability to contain my uncomfortable laughter.  Before long I just hearing the words “dirty balls” circling through the room.  I grabbed the smaller piggy bank and ran to the staging area for boxes heading to the new house.

My dad had fled the room earlier, following the five year old, but heard most of what happened.  As I passed him I said, “I’m not nearly adult enough for that.”

The soccer ball never made its way downstairs.  I have yet to stop laughing.  I don’t think I will help in the moving process again any time soon.

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