Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Laughter & a Simulation

My Kid is a Gaijin, but He Doesn't Know it

"What's a gaijin?" my son asked. My husband and I looked at each other and laughed. We explained it as a foreigner or someone from another place who has a different way of speaking, dressing, or interacting. We laughed again. Our children have attended Japanese schools the past five years and they do not physically blend in. The beauty of it though is that they don't feel different or have any particular awareness of it. It is a great testament to how the other kids have treated them, like other kids.

Slowly, I am simmering down about having to spend summer and possibly fall in Japan. It helps that the sun shined and to have sewn with friends. Despite my epic ability to bungle directions spoon-fed to me, I have a few projects nearing completion.

A Navy Simulation to try at Home

My biggest chuckle came from an email my husband forwarded: How to Simulate being in the Navy. I was laughing so hard I cried. My kiddos wanted in on that so I read a few, starting here. They were rolling on the bed, hooting, and laughing too. I was laughing at the absurdity and truth in it. It's a mystery why the kiddos were laughing at it. Use an official neutral voice and read aloud the parts in quotes as if you are speaking over a loud speaker, I cupped my hands and spoke into them for effect.

20. When your children are in bed, run into their room with a megaphone shouting, "Now general quarters, general quarters ! All hands man your battle stations!"
26. Every week or so, throw your cat or dog into the pool and shout, "Man overboard, port side!" Rate your family members on how fast they respond. 
27. Put the headphones from your stereo on your head, but don't plug them in. Hang a paper cup around your neck on a string. Stand in front of the stove, and speak into the paper cup, "Stove manned and ready." After an hour or so, speak into the cup again,"Stove secured." Roll up the headphones and paper cup, stow them in a shoe box. 
29. Build a fire in a trash can in your garage. Loudly announce to your family, "This is a drill, this is a drill! Fire in hangar bay one!" 
31. Next time there's a bad thunder storm in your area, find the biggest horse you can, put a two-inch mattress on his back, strap yourself to it and turn him loose in a barn for six hours. Then get up and go to work.

I stopped here as we were laughing so much, and it was bedtime. The world is a big place, but there is room for sharing, kindness, and belly laughs. This might require hanging with small children who think everything you say but "goodnight" is insanely funny. The thing is, the more they laugh, the more you do too.
The thing is, the more they laugh, the more you do too.