When my boys were young, we loved to play April Fool’s Day pranks on each other and we were always trying to top one another. One year when the boys were approximately 4, 11 and 12 years of age, I thought of the perfect April Fool’s Day prank.
The boys’ great aunt, who had lived in Puerto Rico for many years before moving to Florida, was renewing an old romance at the time. Although my three boys were fond of their aunt, they were a bit shy and even timid about new situations and people. So on the morning of April 1st, I called them in and told them I had great news! I told them their aunt was getting married, and wanted them to be in the wedding. I actually thought this alone would be enough to freak them out, but had a back-up plan just in case, and it’s a good thing I did, because to my surprise, they were all thrilled.
“There’s only one problem,” I lied. “She’s getting married in Puerto Rico and you’d have to fly out there by yourselves.”
“Yay,” they all responded with whoops of excitement. Oh, boy, this wasn’t going well.
“And you’ll have to learn Spanish well enough to get along while you’re there. Perhaps even give a toast,” I claimed, thinking this double whammy of learning a foreign language in a short amount of time and having to use it to speak in public would dampen their enthusiasm enough for me to finally shout “April Fools!” No such luck!
“OK, Mom,” they earnestly assured me, “We’ll work really hard and help each other. We can do it! This is great! I’ve always wanted to fly on a plane!” they all enthused, getting more excited every minute.
Out of ideas, I gave in and weakly shouted, “April Fools!” They stared at me a moment, stunned. “It’s not true?” the oldest finally asked in a quiet voice. I had to admit it was not. “I’m sorry,” I said sheepishly. “I didn’t think you’d want to do it! I thought you’d be relieved when I let you off the hook.”
My humiliation was not yet complete, however. “But Mom,” my second son said indignantly, “it’s not even April 1st yet!”
“Ha, ha,” I said, thinking he was trying to prank me back, but he flew out of the room and was back in a flash with a calendar. Sure enough, my huge bomb of an April Fool’s Day prank exploded right in my lap when I saw that the date was March 31st. From that time on, I usually got a “Yeah right, Mom,” when I tried to play an April Fool’s Day prank. Or, for the ultimate insult, one of the boys might ask, “Are you sure you’ve got the right day?” Any way you look at it, my great April Fool’s Day prank was an epic fail.