Smart Mouths

Daryl and his friend were hanging out in my Sunday School classroom Sunday morning before classes began. The teacher suggested that perhaps they should stay because “we are going to talk about watching your mouth.” Daryl twisted his face as if trying to look at his mouth and said, “I can’t watch my mouth.”

He was telling the truth in the figurative as well as literal sense. He has a sharp wit and a sense of comedic timing. He rarely watches his tongue but throws out a sarcastic barb or a perfect pun with ease.

Actually, all of our children are decent at delivering one liners. Different families cherish certain qualities more than others. In our household, a brilliant riposte is worth gold.

Sunday evening, our church had a Valentine’s dinner. The program included “The Not-So-Newlywed Game”, in which my husband and I were contestants. We lost the game by half a point, he pointing out that we would have won if I had simply understood that our truck was rear wheel drive, not all wheel drive. Nevermind that he considered lipstick to be a wardrobe item. But I digress…

While we were waiting for the men from the two tying first-place teams to return from their sequester, the host asked Jane to hand out participation prizes to the couples.

She started at the other end and handed a heart shaped box of chocolates to the pastor and his wife, who thanked her. Then to the judge’s wife. Then she stopped in front of us and began to pull the next box out of the bag. I reached to receive it and just before the box touched my fingers, she pulled it away, stepped to the wife of the final couple, and handed it to her.

I expressed shock and the crowd laughed as she then handed me the last box. As she returned to her seat, the host said, “Now, Jane. The Bible says to be nice to your parents.”

Without missing a beat, she smiled and said, “It says to obey them. It doesn’t say anything at all about being nice to them.” The congregation roared with laughter.

I tried to prove her wrong. “Actually,” I called out, “the Ten Commandments tell you that you should honor your mother and father.”

“I did honor you. I saved the best for last, didn’t I?”

I was losing the verbal battle with my twelve year old daughter and doing so in front of a crowd. I didn’t mind. She did me proud.

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