April Fools

Kathy Rice

April 1, 2019

“Momma, I see Mommy coming! April fools!” 4-year-old Addi giggled. “Your turn Momma!”

“Oh, look! There’s Mommy! April fools!” I responded!

“Look!! Mommy’s coming out the door right now! April Fools!” she exclaimed. “Okay your turn!”

“I see Mommy now! April Fools!”

We continued this little game for 10 minutes as we sat in the car waiting until Mommy finally came out of the store.

“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.” Prov 17:22.

Have you ever had an April Fools joke go sour? A prank that wasn’t appreciated? I taped my co-worker’s computer mouse so it wouldn’t move the cursor. I was busy with a project and didn’t see the frustration that my prank caused. She actually called the I.T. department and they sent someone over to fix her computer.

I had to confess to the misdeed. I.T. thought it was hilarious, but Lisa didn’t! She grumbled about all the time that was lost resolving the problem that my “stupid” prank had cause. I was crushed, and no apology removed the cloud that surrounded her the rest of the morning. And if the owner of the company didn’t think it was so funny, I might have gotten in trouble.

We have an annual event at our house. Jamie, my nixie red-headed daughter, tapes the spray nozzle on the kitchen sink so it sprays whoever turns the water on. The first time she did this she was 12 years old. I’m always the recipient, and no matter what, she gets me every year. Even after she grew up, she manages to tape the nozzle and the fact that it is April Fools day only dawns on me once I’m drenched!

After my usual April Fools shower, I decided to leave the nozzle taped one year. I figured it could be funny. After all, I was the only recipient of this joke. I thought I’d share the love. I wasn’t sure who would get the blast of water, knowing well that it might be me again, but I did have a target in mind – a young lady with red hair. But if it was someone else, I knew Jamie would be blamed, so either way, it was a great April Fool’s prank.

I forgot about it. My Daughter-in-law Nicole showed up with a plate of homemade cupcakes, and wanted to share them with the family. They were delicious looking chocolatey cupcakes, the kind that were bumpy and crusty on top, and looked like they might be stuffed with whipped cream. They looked delicious!

She gave one to Donnie and Cody, and immediately they knew they had been pranked, and scrambled to get a glass of milk to put out the fire from the Chocolate Red Cayenne Pepper cupcakes made with extra love for April Fool’s Day. We laughed and laughed as they tried to neutralize the fiery, red hot peppers.

Jamie wasn’t home yet and Nicole really wanted to prank the “queen of pranks,” so she hung out for a while. Jamie walked in the door and saw those scrumptious looking cupcakes.

“Oh, those cupcakes look amazing! May I have one?”

“By all means!” Nicole said in her sweetest, hostess-y voice. “I made them special, just for you!”

Jamie took a big bite of the Cayenne Pepper cupcake. She was about to take her second bite when her mouth was suddenly on fire!

“What are in these!” she cried as she frantically ran to the kitchen sink.

She turned on the faucet full blast as quickly as she could to put out the fire. Instead the spray nozzle shot ice cold water at her. She was stunned that she was caught in her own prank. Her mouth was on fire and the tape wouldn’t come off, so she grabbed the nozzle and aimed it at her mouth, spraying her hair and face and clothes–and the entire kitchen. By the time she was cooled down, she was soaked head to toe. We finally caught her in her own prank! It was revenge at its finest!

Having fun as a family is the essence of life. Your children need to experience laughter and fun–silly moments together. They need to have Mommy and Daddy laugh at their jokes. Aunts and Uncles need to playfully tease them and play along with their harmless pranks. We need to express love by listening as they try to verbalize their very long stories.

Grandma and Grandpa need to gush over the bouquet of dandelions and making a fuss over the special drawing they made just for them, the kind you “totally see” once they explain what they drew. When Jamie was 4-years old, she announced she could draw God. She took a crayon and drew a big hump, kind of like a camel hump. I asked her, “How is that God?” She looked at her picture, then looked at me like I was crazy and said, “because it looks like Him!”

Make it your goal to make life enjoyable for friends and casual acquaintances. As much as children need to know they are important to the adults in their life, people we meet on the street need a serving of the fruits of the spirit. You may never know how that smile or kind word brought a person out of a pitiful state of mind.

A story comes out every once-in-a-while about a timely word that stopped a person from doing a dreadful act. We meet people at work or on the street every day who are living in despair with no hope. We are the hands and feet of the gospel. We are the mouthpiece that can speak into the life of a person who is on the brink of disaster.

I remember the kindness of the cashier at the grocery store. I remember the lunch ladies at school, Mrs. Morrison and Mrs. Paulson, who took time to learn my name. I remember Oscar Shipstead who always had a pocket of change and gave all the children money to buy a candy bar. I remember my best friend Kristi’s mom who was genuinely happy to see me when I came over to play with Kristi.

Willy and Mr. Vanderpan with the fragrant tobacco pipe at the lumber yard, Mr. Marsh at the drug store, Rex with the big smile at the grocery store, Melvin, the gas man and Tom, the electric man, and Pastor Knudson who knew all the kid’s names. In my little town, each of these men and women helped grow up a generation of kids who are now grandmas and grandpas with wonderful childhood memories.

Relationship. It’s all about relationship! Sometimes you are the parent. Sometimes you are the man or woman that greets the child by name. Maybe that’s all you need to do. The most beautiful sound to a child is their name spoken in kindness. Relationship, casual relationships, close-knit relationships, that is what makes or breaks the child’s love for life. You do not have to be a parent or a grandparent to be a “somebody” to a child. You just have to be the “somebody” God made you to be.

Proverbs 25:11 “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.”

Enjoy the day, be kind, and whatever you do, let your light shine!

About the Author: Kathy Rice

Kathy Rice has lived in Pennsylvania since marrying her husband in 1977. She was born and raised in Montana, and attended Montana State University and YWAM’s School of Evangelism in Bozeman. She met her husband on a wagon train that went across the United States in 1976 during the bicentennial with Youth With A Mission. She attended Christ for the Nations in Dallas, Texas, and worked in Haiti among the impoverished nationals where her first child was born. Her six grown children currently live in central Pennsylvania, and she enjoys time with her thirteen grandchildren. Kathy has authored a book, Kathy Run, telling of her young life on a farm in northeast Montana while attending a one-room school. She is currently a Realtor® with Re/Max of Lebanon County. Many of her inspirational pieces are drawn from her experiences on the farm, on the mission field, and raising her family next to her husband, Donnie Rice.


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