I got in trouble in the fourth grade. I laughed during a spelling test, out loud. I wasn’t laughing at my teacher as she methodically enunciated each word, (which I remember was actually really quite humorous) rather, I was laughing at the funny boys that sat directly behind me. I don’t recall what exactly sparked their enthusiasm but I know it wasn’t directed toward our teacher as she was a likable gal and very well respected by the class. “I heard something funny and I couldn’t help myself“, I explained. She didn’t buy it. So, down to the office I went. Next thing I knew, I was being swatted with a wooden paddle laden with holes…the paddle that hung proudly in the principal’s office as a reminder to behave, or else. This was the 70’s…definitely wouldn’t fly today.
These two boys were funny, not just during spelling tests but all of the time. It wasn’t the little chuckle kind of laughter produced by their antics but the bring on the tears type of laughter. They weren’t inappropriate, just hilarious… at least I thought they were! I was certain they would one day earn a living on a stage somewhere as comedians. I could say that I knew them back when and had front row seats to their very first show!
Life can sometimes hide our funny bone, stifling our laughter. Maybe we don’t want to appear silly or vulnerable so we become a bit guarded, taking life too seriously at times. Why do we often hold back when we know it is so good for the soul? Granted, during a spelling test isn’t the best timing to break out in laughter but when the funny bone is tickled …I often think back on that day, wondering how different that scenario would have been if our teacher had simply had a good chuckle along with us and then calmed us down before getting back to business. Maybe her funny bone was in pause mode or was lost waiting to be found? Maybe she was having a bad day or maybe she just didn’t have a good sense of humor? It didn’t matter, she did not find the situation funny, at all, and ordered swats… swats only for me, but not for the comedians! I was happy to take one for the team… I don’t remember any tears which was odd for this, never in trouble, sensitive soul! I really think I just needed a good laugh and wasn’t going to let anything ruin that moment.
I am thankful for that day & for those boys! My elementary school days make me smile and remind me that I do love a good sense of humor. I am also reminded of how much I really didn’t & don’t like tests and how much I loved & still love art classes! I wonder if those boys knew what a gift they gave me … they brightened my day with a little levity until the bell rang and we shuffled off to the next class where creativity awaited. Maybe one day, I will see them again so I can personally thank them…thank them for the fun memory they built, the smiles and the great story to hold in my pocket as a wonderful reminder to embrace the laughter! I think I aced my spelling test that day and turned out to be a pretty good speller… most of the time…LOL!