Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April Fools Day

Dear Ellie,

Today is April Fools day and your mother and I have thought a lot about how we will torment you with creative pranks every year.  You are too little right now to be fooled, but you just wait...  I have enough fun as it is making children believe outlandish things, using my adulthood as unfair leverage.  I can't wait to see that adorable, bewildered look on your face.  

When you are 3 or 4, we can get away with some fairly ridiculous pranks.  For instance, we'll tell you that your Grandma Raju brought you an elephant back from India named Smashie.  We'll point to a newly fallen tree in the backyard as evidence that he's roaming around.  We might even play some loud elephant tooting sounds from the palmettos.  When you run outside looking in the bushes for Smashie, we'll shout "April Fools!"

The next year, we'll get in the car to "take a trip to Disney World."  When we show up at the dentist's office instead, we'll shout "April Fools!"

The year after, we'll throw fluffy white confetti outside of your bedroom window and then burst through your door early in the morning shouting: "It's snowing!  In April!  In Florida!  Come outside and see!"  When you run out the front door into the blistering Florida heat, we'll shout: "April Fools!"

This all probably sounds cruel to you and... well... it is.  But your parents have to get their kicks somehow.  One day, you'll get to torment your children in this fashion, too, so that makes it fair or something.

It'll be tricky after awhile, though.  A few consecutive years of being fooled and you'll begin to anticipate April Fools day.  We'll have a harder time fooling you.  So instead, on random years, we'll have a reverse April Fools day.  We'll make utterly outlandish claims that couldn't possibly be true... but are!

After months of begging us for a puppy, we'll casually tell you at breakfast that a puppy came in the night and is waiting at the front door.  You'll acutely observe: "It's April Fools day!  You aren't getting me this time!"  When you step out the front door, however, a little furball will wag its way toward you and lick your face.

On another year, we'll wake you up in the morning, telling you that Santa Claus came early because you got a head start at being a good girl this year.  "Nice try guys!" you'll say.  "I already checked my calendar and it's April 1st!"  However, as soon as you show up in the living room, you'll encounter a Christmas Tree, presents, and stockings full of goodies.

During one April Fools day that falls on a weekday, we'll tell you on the way to school that we're going to take a detour to Universal Studios.  "Haven't I heard THIS before," you'll say, but when we take a turn North on to I-95, you'll realize that there is no fooling to be done!

Okay, so in the spirit of full disclosure, our plan to trick you on April Fools day isn't just about your mother and I having fun.  It's also about adding an element of randomness and playfulness to what would otherwise be normal days.  Nothing gives us a better perspective of our lives than when we are rescued from the blur of routine by something unusual or unexpected.  April Fools will be our holiday for the unusual.  A topsie turvie day when anything can happen.

By the time you've read these letters, I suspect that you have at one point decided also to hatch outrageous plots against your parents on April 1st.  Plots that are so convincing, your mother and I will look at one another with perplexed expressions and not know whether or not we're being tricked.  Those will be proud days for both of us.

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