This kid right here, the one making the silly face, is a funny boy. Sometimes he makes me laugh so hard I cry. Trouble is, most times he doesn’t realize he’s funny, and he thinks I’m laughing at him. He’s very sensitive, and if he even THINKS he’s the object of amusement, he freaks out and cries. Don’t get me wrong, we don’t sit around and make fun of him. (Jessica’s the one we do that to) We just get so tickled by some of the things Tony says, that it’s impossible not to chuckle. If he tried, he could be a comedian, but he’s just oblivious to his own wit.

The incident I wanted to relate to you is just one example of the hilarity that accompanies this kid.

Okay, picture the setup. We’re having a late supper at Goosby’s Calabash Seafood restaurant in Greensboro, about 9pm. (I wouldn’t recommend this place, by the way, the food on the buffet was all dried up, and too expensive for the selection). We’re sitting there, and out of the blue, tony pops out with:

Tony: Mama, what happens if the woman I marry doesn’t want to have my last name?
Me: Sweetheart, do you really think we need to worry about this right now, I mean, you are almost 9, but still.
T:    Mama, I’m serious! What if she doesn’t like my name? Then there won’t be any more Hocketts. Nobody will ever know that we existed.
M:   Well, you know, there are a couple of ways around that. Your brother might get married someday, probably before you do, since he’s so much older than you. Or, maybe your wife would share your name and hers. She could put a hyphen between the two. And let’s face it, Hockett is a rockin’ name! What girl wouldn’t want it? I wanted it, that’s why I married your dad. I fell in love with him later on, but I married him because I wanted his last name. (I could see the gears turning, as he tried to figure out if I was fibbing)
T:    But, what if she had a cool name of her own?
M:   What name could possibly be cooler than yours?
T:    Hoomahanger
M:   (Trying, with much difficulty, not to spray diet coke out my nose. In between snorts of laughter, I ask him to repeat the name)
T:    Are you laughing at me?
M:   (by this time, I’m almost on the floor.  Unfortunately, I  sound like a farm animal when I laugh, so people at neighboring tables are looking, Kristopher is laughing, Rich is mortified that we are getting funny looks. And poor Tony is looking crushed. I look at my lap, take several deep breaths, and say) No, sweetie, I just thought that was a funny name, and I see what you mean, it is just as cool as ours. That might be tough. Maybe this would be one of those situations where you could get her to hyphenate, like hoomahanger-hockett. What is her first name, by the way?
T:     Jennawoo (said with a poker face)
M:     (trying to stay off the floor) well, that would certainly be an interesting name, wouldn’t it? Jennawoo hoomahanger-hockett! Where do you reckon you’d meet such a girl?
T:     I don’t think you understand my feelings. I don’t want our name to be lost. It’s not something to laugh about.

Okay, so you get the gist of the conversation. I was able to somehow salvage it from the compost pile, and finish the meal on an upswing. But, see what I mean? Absolutely hilarious!

As you may have guessed from this piece, Tony is one of those children (much like I was as a kid) who, as my grandmother would say, “borrows trouble”. He worries about so many things, most of them so far in the future, that even if he found a solution, by the time the situation arrived, he’d forget how to resolve it.  Life at hockett house is never dull…

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