So. It’s April Fool’s Day. Not that it’s any different from any other day, really.
I mean, we never go out of our way around here to play jokes or pranks on one another, so it’s not really a day that is/was ever explained to the kids until they were really old enough to get it.
Three years ago, on this day, Donovan, who was on the verge of turning 4, found out what April Fool’s Day was all about on the car ride home from the sitter’s house with Dad. People were calling in to a local radio station and talking about jokes that had been played on them either that day or in the past. One of the stories, a man whose family had called him and told him he was adopted, struck Jeff as so funny that he started laughing out loud and, when Donovan asked what was so funny, he was obviously then obligated to fill in the information that Donovan was missing.
“Is it funny ’cause he was adopted, Dad?” Donovan asked him.
“Well, he wasn’t really adopted. It was a joke they played on him. On April Fool’s Day, you play jokes on people or tell little fibs. And when they believe you, you say ‘April Fool’s!'”
Donovan loved the idea of this as much as almost any child would.
Once home, they headed across the street to the park, where they usually went during warmer weather while waiting for me to get home. That’s when they began to concoct an April Fool’s joke to use against, of all people, me.
Dad tried to keep it simple, refreshing Donovan’s memory again and again of the joke that had been played on the man on the radio and, together, they came up with simply telling me my shoe was untied and, when I looked to check it, quickly yelling out, “April Fool’s!”
Sometimes even the simplest things don’t go quite as smoothly as you think they will.
When I pulled up at the house and got out of the car, I saw the two of them over near the swings. The first clue that something was up was the pointing and the conspiratorial whispering and then, loud enough for me to hear, “Ok, now go tell Mommy!”
Donovan took off in my direction as fast as his little legs would carry him, his face lit up from ear to ear with a smile so big it didn’t even look like it should fit on his face anymore.
He stopped directly in front of me, looked up and said..
“Mommy! I’m adopted! April Fool’s!!!”
Needless to say, at that point? I was the one in need of some missing information.