So, if you’ve been around me (Ben) for 3 minutes or longer, you might find that I joke a lot. One of my goals when meeting new people is to figure out a way to make them laugh. Because genuine laughter (as opposed to courtesy, nervous laughter) is the ultimate ice-breaker.
Having said that, there are times that jokes just aren’t appropriate. But as we have been dealing with the news of a diagnosis of craniosynostosis (the premature closure of the bones in the skull, for those fashionably late to the conversation), I have found that one of the most therapeutic things I can and have been doing is joking about it. I have started to say that my son is just “too closed-minded,” because, well, that’s a funny way to say he needs surgery to open up his skull a little bit.
Yeah, so I am learning that me joking about an otherwise serious isue is only really funny to me. But its good for me to at times lift up the heavy blanket that is on this situation, and tell a joke. It may be awkward for you folks, but that’s the joy of a blog. We don’t have to deal with you awkwardly not knowing how to react to me joking about a surgical procedure on my son’s head. I can tell you how you should react. 🙂
Here are a few pointers:
- Let me do the joking, unless we are really close friends and it is just you and me. It’s not funny for anybody else. Not even my wife. (though she understands and puts up with me joking about it, she will start crying if you do, and then we are in Awkwardville, population 3.)
- Laugh. When I tell a joke, it’s OK to laugh. I understand if you just don’t think it’s funny… but if it is funny to you, you can laugh.
- If you don’t know what to say in a situation, or how to react in a situation, it’s better to acknowledge that fact (out loud) than to just be awkward. This applies to any interaction with us during this waiting period. We think about the surgery enough. When we are hanging out with you, we’d like to think about you, and how we can be friends with you. So, henceforth in dealing with us, if you want to acknowledge you’ve read the blog and are keeping up with what is going on and praying for us, but you don’t want to be friggin’ awkward, do this: Just say that. You can even use the word “friggin’” if you have talked it over with the Holy Spirit and He’s cool with it. Then, from that point on, we will do our best to move the conversation to something lighter, like Carolina basketball or International Business, or the process behind making falafel.
That’s all the pointers I’ve got, for now. But in closing, because it’s my blog and I’ll joke if I want to, I have come up with the following two potential one-liners having to do with the possible diagnosis of a corpus callosum disorder (the partial or complete absence of the division of the brain that connects the two lobes). We’ll find out the diagnosis after Monday when Benjamin goes in for an MRI.
- “My son can do all of that with half his brain tied behind his back”
- “We gave the other people a 250 million nerve-ending head start, and we are still whooping them.”