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Sunday, April 1, 2012

April Fools Day

Sunday’s Serene Teen

Did you all survive April Fools Day? When I was a pre-teen, every day felt like April Fools. My mother’s second husband was a practical joker, and my brother, sister, and I were his constant victims. It was hard to be a Serene Teen when we had to be constantly on guard. Jim went far beyond food jokes, like substituting salt for sugar. No, he plotted much bigger than that. On the bright side, his jokes provided early lessons in reading signs and energy.  Practical jokers can barely contain their glee, so their energy changes whenever they are up to something. 

One day, a package arrived for me. Instead of a return address, someone had drawn several hearts with a red pen. Jim seemed way too pleased with the package. Anticipation crackled his energy field. He all but rubbed his hands together. “Open it! Let’s see what your secret admirer sent you!”

That’s when I noticed the stamps on the box hadn’t been stamped by the post office. Jim was a fisherman. The box was about the size of a fish head. I went with my intuition and said, “No thanks. It contains a fish head.” The shock on Jim’s face was priceless. I had guessed correctly.

Finally, my siblings and I reached our limit. We turned the tables. We had often gotten into trouble for jumping on our parents’ bed. So one day, while Jim was out of the house, we removed the bedspread from their bed and lined the edges of the bed with pillows. When we tossed the bedspread back on the bed, it looked as though the bed had broken and caved in.

For years we had perfected masking our emotions over practical jokes. So when Jim came home and we sheepishly led him into the bedroom, we were the epitome of dejection, shame, and worry. We looked like three kids who had done something wrong and knew they were going to get a belt to their backside. We showed Jim the bed. I think I even squeezed out tears of regret.

Blood rushed to Jim’s face when he saw the “broken” bed. “You @%$#& kids!” As he reached for his belt we flipped back the covers and threw his favorite tag line at him. “Gotcha!”

He gaped from us to the bed before breaking into a smile. “You got me. You got me good!”

Jim died several years ago. I always know when his spirit visits me. An impish energy ripples the air. My bracelet squirms then flies off my wrist and shoots across the room. Inside my head I hear him. “Gotcha!”

So if you have the misfortune of living with a practical joker, look on the bright side. They are training you to become quite the actor, or shaman, or energy worker. Hang in there. Some day the tables will turn.

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