This time spent at home during the pandemic has been hard for each of us in the Johnson clan, but it has also brought us opportunities. Being at home has allowed us to indulge in old hobbies, or passions that we previously brushed aside. Above all, this time at home has made us turn to family for the love and support we need because of these unprecedented events.
That is why I have called you together today. We have spent the last eight months at home as a family, and being with you has led me to one key realization. You guys all suck, and I wish you could be more like the Thompsons, my secret other family.
I hate to say it, but the Thompsons are just filled with so much more life and vigor than you guys. Every day here it’s the same thing. I’m hungry. I’m bored. Why have you just been blankly staring out the window for the past three hours? Well, I’m sorry. I was staring out the window in the hopes that one of the Thompsons was coming over to get me out of here!
But, since it looks like this isn’t going to let up any time soon, I’ve prepared notes for each of you about how you can improve to be more like one of the Thompsons. With this help, you all should be much more interesting by the time of the next global pandemic.
Becky – daughter, age 3:
Becky, you’ve been riding along on your cuteness for too long. I get it, you lost a tooth and you look adorable. This isn’t going to last much longer, so it’s time that you start to diversify your interests. Like sure, you love Elmo and he loves to be tickled. I got it the first 1000 times you said that!
For reference, you should really try to be more like Ryder, my secret other son. Yes, Ryder is 4, so he’s a little teeny bit older than you, but when he was your age, he was already riding a bike with training wheels, and you haven’t even progressed past a tricycle yet.
Also, he’s really good at soccer. He’s so good, sometimes his coach (whose also me by the way) lets him play goalie. That’s how good his reflexes are. So, Becky, it’s time to put down the dolls and get in the game!
Ricky – son, age 7:
Ricky, you know I love you. In terms of sons, you’re easily in the top 3 of the ones I know about. But you do have some competition in the overall kid department.
I’m talking about Erica, my secret daughter. She’s 7 as well, but her teacher is thinking about putting her in an advanced math class! The only thing I ever heard from anyone at your school was the time your art teacher phoned home because you spent the entire period eating glue. I had to miss work to take you home sick. That’s nothing like Erica’s teacher. Man, did she ever rave about her at Parent Teacher Interviews. It was totally worth skipping out on Becky’s first dance recital so I could go to that.
And she’s great at music too. I have never heard someone put so much feeling into a rendition of “Heart and Soul.” I am so happy I went to her piano concert instead of that stupid hockey game of yours. What? Put yourself in my shoes. If you had the choice, would you rather listen to the soulful stylings of a seven-year-old Alicia Keys, or spend your Friday night explaining to other parents why your kid has been laying on the ice, refusing to get up, for the last three minutes? The choice was clear.
Brenda – wife, age redacted:
Brenda don’t worry, I didn’t forget about you, like I have your past 6 birthdays and our last 8 anniversaries.
For the last 10 years, you’ve really been my rock, by which I mean you have been holding me back from really flourishing. Sorry, I just really think that Janice, the woman I’ve secretly been married to for the last eight years, gets me on a slightly deeper level.
Janice and I talk about so much together. Music, art, literature, it’s like there are no limits! We had season tickets to the opera together. That’s where I was when I said I had all of those late-night conference calls at the office. Sorry I was enriching myself instead of taking part in another of your late night Frasier marathons.
And Janice isn’t even all that great. You should really meet Brittany, the woman I’m cheating on Janice with. She makes a risotto you would die for. That reminds me. I should add general cooking to your list.
I hope each of you takes time to reflect on how you can improve yourselves so you can meet my needs. Anyway, I’ve got to go. Ricky’s soccer team is livestreaming their game tonight, and I told him I wouldn’t miss it. Then Erica asked me to help her with her math homework, and then Janice and I are going to watch a Godard movie together. You really can’t appreciate what you have until it’s gone.