My dad has been playing the same April Fool’s joke on me and my siblings for over 40 years.
I was quite young when it began. Early on the morning of April 1st Dad would come into my bedroom and wake me up, peeking through my curtains to the outdoors and exclaiming “Lisa! You need to look outside! There’s snow on the ground! Wow! Look!”
The thing is, in southeastern Ohio where I grew up, it was entirely possible that there might be snow on the ground on April 1st. Not probable, but possible. Snow might mean a day off from school, too. And so as sleepy youngsters, my brother and sister and I fell for it many times. Once we got older and knew the deal, we still “fell” for it. Because that was just part of the game. Even with the phone calls during the years that Mr. Sparky and I lived in South Dakota and it was actually probable that there was snow on the ground on April 1st.
Fast forward to the current time. For years now my younger sister and my dad have been warring to see who can pull this off first, calling each other at ungodly hours to ask the other if they’d looked outside at the snow yet.
But my 79 year-old dad started plotting two months ago to take us by surprise. Boy howdy…did he ever take us by surprise. And he did it by learning to text.
You gotta understand—the guy doesn’t have an email address or internet access or a smart phone. He’s got a basic cell phone, and that’s it. But he’s a really smart guy and an excellent problem-solver, so last night he sat down and figured it out, texting my mom’s cell phone for practice. When she got the text, he knew he had it down.
And so I woke up to this text message at 6:36am this morning:
Lisa look out window at big snow. APRIL FOOL! Love YOU!
When I called him a few hours later, he was downright giddy that he’d pulled it off, giggling like a kid. He knew he had us. And I am sure I speak for all of us when I say we loved being had.
I’ve never received a text from my dad before, and I may never again. But this one is priceless. It is my dad having fun and reminding us all that we may be grown, but we’re not so grown up that we aren’t still his kids. There are still jokes and traditions to share, ones that are unique to our family. Ones we never outgrow.
Oh, and there wasn’t really any snow. I checked just to be sure.