March 20 or 21st may be the official start of spring, but to me, when I saw my first robin romping on my lawn and I turned the calendar to April, that is when I felt like the worst of winter was behind me. Now it has moved up a month to March, but still, April 1st was always a happy date. It was also a fun date—April Fools’ Day.
I look back on that date now and have only adult memories of that day—all of which I am sure is not news to any of you. (But the grandkids may read this someday.) There were the multiple calls to me from a “doctor,” informing me that Dad/Bampa was in the hospital with a broken bone. The man, a real doctor it turned out, got two telephone hang-ups from me because I truly believed it was a joke. Well, the joke was on me when the doctor persisted in calling me, and I finally realized that Dad really had gotten hurt while playing basketball with the boys.
Then there was the snowstorm when Grandpa called and asked how much snow we had gotten and wondered if our schools were closed. I was initially confused, and then remembered the date, so I thought it was his joke when he informed me that he had over a foot of snow on his back deck. We had just a dusting to maybe an inch. Yet that difference above sea level between our house and his, not even five miles away, made the difference between “Boonton public schools are closed today,” and “it’s just another day in Montville, kiddies!”
For years, after Aunt Ar passed her baby birthing years, I would fall for her joke year after year: “Hello, how are you. I’m pregnant!” Every year, I would forget that this was her April Fools’ Day joke and always believe it. Finally, when she realized that there was no way that she could pull it off again, she instructed Jamie to tell me that she was pregnant. Same joke, different characters. I think that for the briefest moment, with a sick feeling in my stomach, I believed it. This was not the time for me to be a grandmother.
So this year, knowing she does not read these posts, I think it’s time for me to make a phone call. Who should be the lucky mother-to-be that she just may believe this year?