Today I missed what might have been my all-time favorite kid moment, had I actually witnessed it.
Our pool has one of those heavy-duty covers on it to protect the kids from falling in. Unless we are actively swimming, it is almost always closed. Today the kids went swimming and, when they were done, we did not close the cover right away like we usually do. Tony (our only mobile non-swimmer) was not in the yard and there were adults working outside, so we just hadn't gotten to it.
We were getting ready to go to dinner at a new friend's house for the first time, so I'd had the kids put on Sunday-like clothes to make a good impression. Joey was dressed early and looking sharp, so he went outside to ride his bike around the back yard, as he often does, while waiting for the rest of us to get ready to go.
The next thing I know, a furious, dripping wet Joey is standing in front of my desk, spluttering about how someone had crossed in front of him while he was riding. As Joey swerved to avoid him, he rode his bike right into the pool, fully clothed.
Now, you have to know Joey to appreciate this story completely. He is my wonderful child who loves to be grumpy. That's his thing. Falling into a pool wearing clothes might be funny to many children, but Joey was not amused. He was even less amused by my reaction. Instead of the pity and outrage-on-his-behalf that he expected, I must admit that I laughed--because it was really, really funny! I simply couldn't help myself. He looked so silly with his hair plastered down and his jeans stuck to his legs, heavy and dripping. Naturally, I gave him heartfelt sympathy, too, as I know it had to be a truly unpleasant experience for him. But this was doled out between giggles as I wrung him out, got his clothes in the dryer and helped him find new, suitable clothes to wear.
It was a classic "America's Home Videos" moment, and I missed it! Yet, I still enjoyed it. And am still enjoying it. Even Joey, after he was dry, had to admit begrudgingly that he could see why someone, himself excluded, might find it funny. He knows perfectly well that if it had happened to any one of us he would have been doubled over with laughter.
And so it has been entered into our family lore, and will be repeated over and over again at family gatherings and holidays. Classic.