When was the last time you did something unexpected in front of your stepkids? When did you cut loose and show your humanity?
One day, a stepmother farted. Not casually while the family was going about it’s business. Nope. She farted during dinner time, the Holiest of Holy Times in a family, the Trail to Tears in a stepfamily. Normal decorum went out the window when she purposely, loudly, and proudly let loose.
There was silence and eyes widened in disbelief. Seriously, did she just fart? Glances at one another to make sure the other had heard the same thing. Did they imagine it? Nope, it really happened. Small smiles crept onto the mouth corners of her husband and his kids. These were smiles most often relegated to private-viewings between parent and child but on the Day of the Fart, they were brought out into the open. Everyone smiled, including the stepmother. In that moment she was invited into the laughter, aka the privacy of the family circle.
And the smiles came alive and the corners of the mouths turned up and air escaped and before anyone knew it, sound came out of each of them. At first it was muffled, but it grew and grew and grew until it was a full-fledged, bonafide, gut-busting laughter. No one knows how long the laughing went on. It didn’t matter. The stepmother felt how good it was to laugh with her husband’s kids. To come out into the open with an everyday-human sound.
And, somehow. Well, somehow the distance between her and the kids decreased in that moment. It was as if the chasm that had separated them before the fart was almost completely gone, at least for the moment. Before the Fart, BF, they weren’t in communion about much of anything. Oh, maybe the odd game or school event, or this or that. After the Fart, AF, they had a shared memory file filled with laughter. They each owned part of the file.
Maybe there’s even a fart-afterlife, something like carbon-dating. With a fart, the shared laughter will recur each time the stepmother or the husband or the kids thinks of the Stepmother Fart experience. Remember the time stepmom farted? OMG, that was hysterical. You’d be able to tell the age of the fart by how big the laughter was. And, imagine, the kids telling their kids that their stepmom farted at the dinner table.
And . . . together they sat . . . four laughing humans.