Love, Laughter and “Swearing”

Last week was the high school graduation of my youngest, Gavin. As he is getting ready to go off on his own I think back to the many times over the years he has kept us laughing and smiling. I so want to share some of that laughter with you, but I fear that I won’t be able to as it isn’t always what he is saying, but the way he says or does things that makes us laugh.

As I’ve talked with people the last few days I’ve been surprised to find that people thought he was quiet and shy. I’ve known that he was quiet in situations that called for it, but I have always thought of it was having good behavior, but shy? No, not our Gavin.

Over the years when I have taken pictures of my family, often we would get glimpses into Gavin’s personality, the personality that we always saw here at home. In the picture below you can see some of his personality shining through.

Gavin and the kids during the fall

So in this post I am sharing some of what has made us laugh and smile, hopping that it will be the thing that some may need today.

For awhile, when Gavin was in grade school he always wore pants. He had plenty of nice shorts. He loved shorts prior to this, but nothing we said could get him into shorts now, even though it was hot. So one day I sat down with him and asked him, “why don’t you like shorts?”

Without taking any time to think over it and done in a matter of fact way he told me, “because then I couldn’t do this.”

At that moment he jumped high in the air and landed on his knees!

Oh, how I cringed as he came down on those knees! He got up like nothing had happened and went on his way.

After nothing more said or done, the next day he started wearing shorts and has been in shorts pretty much since then.

This child of mine, this man, has always been a mover. He doesn’t move in a frantic way that you always notice and sometimes become annoyed with. He just moves. For example, some people know him as the teen that is always playing basketball on our driveway.

What you may notice are the projects he is coming up which make him move. Such as this:

Gavin and chairs

If you ask him to clean the bathroom you may discover sculptures such as this when you are done:

When he went in to have his wisdom teeth surgery consultation done we needed to watch a video about how to get ready for the surgery, aftercare and complications etc.

It caught him that one of the complications was death, but he shared an even more concerning complication of surgery when he waited till the surgeon was out of the room, moved to his chair and then had me film him acting as the surgeon in very, matter of fact tone:

“Our procedure today is we are going to be removing the 4 wisdom teeth in Gavin’s mouth. So this could cause death, potentially. But you can’t eat food for the first 8 hours before the surgery. Which is basically death.”

Some time ago he found he could easily climb on top of the fence and from there to the roof. He keeps us smiling as he often disappears around the house one way, up and over the house and comes behind us the other way.

For some of his graduation pictures he asked if some of them could be on the roof. I actually said ok because it is so him. Like a kid in a candy shop he was up on the roof in a couple of seconds. Unfortunately, he wanted only one picture on his announcement and I wanted one where I could see his face well so those pictures did not make it on the announcement,

Gavin Grad Picture on the Roof

But the best time I remember laughing with Gavin was in Nazareth. I am never going to be able to do this justice, but I hope you can get some kind of idea.

Everything I had read before said, “The best way to see Israel is to drive in the northern part, but don’t drive in Nazareth!” I had read much about where to park our car so that we could best get to our inn. We planned to park in a lot and NOT drive into the town. That didn’t happen – somehow we ended up driving through it.

It gets a little crazy here, there and everywhere with cars going this way and that way and running so close to each other, going up and down in hills in tight places, but the thing that really got us were the horns. Honking and tooting all over the place.

My husband was nervous to drive in Israel anyway and going through Nazareth had him on edge. Verbally he let his frustration be known, though honestly I didn’t even notice because, well actually now, to tell the truth, I’m not sure he did say something to show us the frustration!

From the backseat though we heard, “Dad, you swore!” from then 14 year old Gavin.

Rex said, “No, I didn’t.”

Gavin exclaimed, “yes, you mormon swore”.

Then throughout the rest of the ride through Nazareth we heard a long stand-up bit of how dad was no longer a good example, and had fallen in his eyes.

This was punctuated with Rex saying things such as, “they keep honking the horn” and immediately Gavin jumping in with “Dad, you swore again!”

“No I didn’t.”

“Yes! You said the k word.

“The k word?”

“I don’t want to say it because then I would be swearing.”

“Spell it.”

There would be some discussion about whether or not it was ok to spell it and finally he would say, “k-e-e-p”.

If we repeated the words then he would be “shocked” again to hear such language coming from our mouths, though Rex got much more of the verbal chastisement than the rest of us did.

It was just the thing Rex needed. Listening, laughing and participating in the conversation made him much less tense. He was still terribly glad to leave the driving in the city behind, but came out with a smile.

That was truly one of our best experiences in Israel. not because we didn’t like Israel. We really enjoyed it. There is just something about laughter and loved ones that makes experiences 10 times bigger and better than one they could have been.

Thanks Gavin for nearly 18 years of laughter and so much more. You have been one of our truest delights.

Who, in your family, always makes you laugh?

2 Replies to “Love, Laughter and “Swearing””

  1. Love this and all your other stories, but I can’t figure out why ‘Keep’ is a swear word.

    1. Thank you! It was just part of the joking Gavin was doing. Choosing words at random from what Rex was saying and calling them swear words so he could get after Rex.

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