Why I no longer take part in April Fools

I’ve not pulled off an April Fool’s Day prank since the year I broke my father’s heart.

I honestly didn’t plan it. He and Mom were living in Newfoundland at the time and when I phoned one morning to say hello, for some stupid reason, I told Dad that myself and Emily (who was about 7 at the time), were at the airport, waiting to be picked up!

I honestly hadn’t put any thought into it! Quite simply, as I’d dialled the number and was waiting for him to pick up…the realization hit me that it was April 1st, and with that…the plan was formed!

He was elated! Absolutely thrilled with the news as he kept asking me how I’d pulled off the surprise. I answered his questions through laughter, telling him to put on his shoes and come get us as the airport was just a few minutes from where my folks lived.

“Really?” he said a few times until I’d finally convinced him. “Really, you’re really here?”

I can still hear him saying it all these years later until finally, gleefully I said, “Happy April Fools”…totally enjoying the fact that that I’d pulled his leg.

I was met with silence. Nothing. And when he finally spoke I heard the crack in his voice as he told me he knew I was joking.

But he didn’t. Not at all. Maybe at first but with a couple of questions where answers made sense, plus a great amount of hope, he was prepared to pick us up…missing us from months of not seeing us…thrilled to bits that I’d surprised him with a visit home.

The apology was stupid. I tried but it sounded dumb. There was nothing I could say as I rushed through the rest of our conversation…apologizing once again as I hung up the phone…then sitting there, feeling like a complete and utter ass.

I remember checking flights, seeing what it would cost to fly to Newfoundland, thinking there had to be a way to make it up to him…but I simply couldn’t afford the trip.

April Fools has never been the same.

Through the years the kids have played a few pranks on me a time of two…they’ve stuffed my shoes with newspaper, put elastic bands around the sprayer on the sink, taken the batteries out of the remote or hidden the tea bags before they left for school…but never have I pulled another “prank” off like I did over twenty years ago.

On April Fool’s, I absolutely LOVE the silliness that companies put off…the fake commercials about their products and services! I know the amount of creativity that’s gone into each and every one and I’m always blown away by my naivety when it takes me a moment to get the joke. But I cringe at the fake pregnancy announcements, fake engagements and other posts that I know can be hurtful to someone on the other end of the prank…as I’ve been there, done that…and have more than learned my lesson.

When I played that prank on Dad, the only April Fool…was me.