In one of the quirks that is our blended family, we have two sons with the same first name, “Michael.” Both boys go by the same nickname “Mikey.” We have tried over the years – without success – to assign a different nickname to one of the Mikeys, or to apply Michael to one and Mikey to the other, but they’re both Michael when they’re in trouble. Mikey 1 and Mikey 2 didn’t fly. Neither did Big Mikey and Little Mikey, which is probably just as well since now the “little” one is taller than the “big” one, and Little Big Mikey and Big Little Mikey is no help whatsoever. “His” and “hers” have become “ours,” and both boys remain resolutely Mikey.
After five years, the Michaels don’t even explain this oddity when introducing themselves: “Hello, I’m Mikey, and this is my brother Mikey.” In fact, they seem to delight in the confused looks that ensue.
Team Michael has discovered that there are certain advantages to this arrangement as well. When I call “Hey Mikey, could you please take out the trash?” they both ignore me. “Who me? I thought you meant my brother.”
You’d think a woman with four sons would never have to take out the garbage again, but you’d be wrong.
This morning, Mikey has an appointment with the optometrist, and I know it’s Mikey because when the assistant called to verify his appointment, she said it was for the younger one. I have barely enough time to get him to the doctor after my sacred Tuesday yoga class, provided that he is ready, so I wake him up before I leave. Twice, actually.
Predictably, he is sound asleep when I walk back in the door, yoga mat still tucked under my arm. Twenty minutes later, however, he is showered, dressed and hungry, but standing politely in the optometrist’s office, disheveled hair and glasses slightly askew. The receptionist looks bewildered.
It was bound to happen someday. I had brought the wrong Mikey to the doctor.
I look up at my son, and he looks at me. I smile, “You’re not Mikey!” and we burst into laughter. Sometimes life is just laugh-out-loud-ridiculous funny. Then I call Mikey to let him know that he is five minutes late to his optometrist appointment, and Mikey and I go to the grocery store for a few last minute Christmas items. Which, believe me, at this time of year is significantly less funny than the doctor’s office. And which is why I’m actually grateful for the morning’s Mikey mishap. It gives me something to chuckle about as we navigate the scene.
Life is too short not to laugh at my own silliness. If that’s the biggest mistake I make today, then I’m in good shape.
Wishing you light and strength on your healing path. And a reason to laugh out loud.