I'm the oldest of five children. My youngest sister, "L," and I are thirteen years apart. As you might guess, a big family with a big age span can lead to much hilarity.
I was reading over some old journal entries today and found a story that always makes me smile. When "L" was about four years old, we had a reduced family group for dinner one night. Our brother "Z" and our dad were off at a baseball game. Mom asked "L" to say the blessing on the food. Then this happened:
"L": "And please bless Dad and 'Z' that they'll get home safe and won't get a fat Tyler . . . I mean, a flat Tyler . . . I mean . . ."
Our brother "T" (through gritted teeth): "Flat tire!"
At which point I lost it and burst out laughing. That set off everyone else, and we lost all semblance of reverence at the dinner table.
Fast-forward twenty-ish years, and "T" and his amazing wife, "K," now have two little girls ("C1" and "C2"). "K" had leg surgery the week of Valentine's Day but was super organized and had "C1" and "C2" prepare their school valentines on the night of February 13. Then somehow the valentines went missing by the next morning.
"C1": "But Mooooom, how in the world did this catastrophe happen?!"
She's four (well, almost five). How in the world does she know the word catastrophe? This kid amazes me. And cracks me up when she deals with such problems by checking "K's" cast to make sure the valentines aren't hidden in there. ("K" later found them under a couch cushion.)
Seriously. You can't make this stuff up. So embrace it. The weird, the puzzling, and the (if only in hindsight) laughable. That's life. And when you put life in your writing, readers will embrace it too.
P.S. What's your favorite real-life event or bit of dialogue that's ended up in your writing? Comment below!
(Thanks to Will Myers for sharing their work on Unsplash.)