How I Became A Geezer and Learned to Embrace Geezerhood

Micah and I collected words for most of his childhood, the way we also collected rocks we liked.

“Bumbershoot”, he’d say.

“Glockenspiel”, I’d reply

“Calliope!”,  he’d pounce.

Hm.  Hard to come up with something good after Calliope.

“Geezer”, I say, in triumph.

His face is puzzled.  New word.  “What does it mean?”, he asks.

“A geezer is a sort of cranky old person”,  I say, “Without a lot of life left in them? But you wouldn’t pass by an older person on the street and say Good Morning, Geezer. It’s an insult.”

I watch him turn it over and store it away.

“Flotilla”, he says.  And we go on.

One morning, years later, I’m snappy about getting everyone into the car for church.  I’m trying too hard to be good.  I know I got up on the wrong side of the bed.  I am being fake-nice, which drives everyone nuts.  They’d rather I was honestly cranky.

Micah, now tall enough to put his arm around my shoulders, says “Don’t stress, geezer, we’re gonna get there on time.”

I look at him, and we both burst out laughing.  I laugh so hard that tears come.   Micah has a pre-teen’s self-control when laughing with an adult.  “Don’t get carried away”, he says, pretending irritation he doesn’t feel.

I can’t stop laughing.

He can’t hide his smile.  He adds the coup de grace: “Jeeze, geeze!”

I’m laughing so hard Shaun wisks the car keys out of my weak fingers.  We don’t make it to church on time.  I sit as still in my church seat as I can, giggling inappropriately during the sermon and pretending I have a weird cough, whenever Micah grins at me, or Lee Lee looks to see if I’m losing it yet.

I call him my Geezer-in-Training, AKA: Geezling.

I’ve never felt more loved than when a now teenage Micah says “Hey, Geeze…what’s up? How’s your day?”

Our house, in the summer, when we all more or less go to bed at the same time, is a whacked out goodnight-version of The Waltons.  Instead of Goodnight John-Boy, and the replies, it sounds something like this:

Goodnight, Dork.

Goodnight, Doofus.

Goodnight, Sib. (the kids call each other sibling, no idea how it started)

Night, Sib.

Goodnight, Geezer.

Goodnight, my little Geezlings.

I love you more than all the grains of sand I dumped out of my shoe today!

I love you MOST.

Nu-unh.  I love you moster!  More than all the flies at the picnic.

Micah, gross. I love you Most-EST.  That’s it!  Shut up.  I win.

Sorry, I love you Most-EST times a million plus 1!

Plus 1.

Always wins.

I’m embracing my inner Geezer, and looking forward to a long and happy geezerhood.

8 thoughts on “How I Became A Geezer and Learned to Embrace Geezerhood

  1. My brother became “Butthead” when we used to watch The Wonder Years as a family. Sometime not too far after that I became “Bozo” after the clown (my hair wasn’t red, but it was short and curly.) We used to use the names for each other lovingly, but one year I randomly wrote “Butthead” on the tags for all his gifts. Someone commented that was mean of me…. until he drove down, handed me a gift and I started laughing. And told him to look at his. After years of calling each other by those names, we’d never addressed gifts that way, but somehow on the same year ended up doing so. I think everyone else got the point it was meant lovingly by then, too, given we were crying we were laughing so hard!

  2. how sweet I laughed pretty hard thinking of you hysterically laughing and then tryong to be contained in church heehee

  3. LOL. My daughter and I had a similar thing going with who was the bossiest. She topped me with “You’re so bossy that when aliens landed on the planet, they came straight to you because they knew you were the bossiest ever.”

    Now all we have to say is “you’re so bossy” and we’re all cracking up.

    I love that about being a family.

    Of course, we all know who the aliens are coming to if they are looking for the bossiest. They little girl who insists on only Annies mac and cheese. And organic apples. Peeled. And oranges sliced so there’s no white stuff. The kid is a PhD of Bossy.

  4. Love it. Geeze as a term of endearment. It’s those quirky little inside jokes that make families so special. I call my brother Monkey, always will, for similar reasons. His nephew heard that and now calls him Uncle Monkey. Gets me every time.

  5. Beautiful! I love it. Your story reminds me of the word game my hunny and I sometimes play. Sort of like free association, but the words have to be somehow related, even if only esoterically. I love those moments where your kids crack you up like that. Especially with older kids who are usually so busy being cool.

  6. Funny Family Traditions. Ours often involve made-up words or spin offs of names. We have a WaltonFamilyLike tradition of waiting just a few minutes after everyone is in bed, then asking “are you asleep yet?” “how about now” “now?” “snoring yet?” and so on.

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