Foolish Tricks

I’m not sure what I was thinking when I began playing innocuous little jokes on my two boys when they were very young on April Fool’s Day. I soon regretted it. I quickly discovered their naughty little minds fell in love almost instantly with the notion of planning and implementing mischievous pranks on all of the adult members of our household the very minute we awoke on the morning of April 1st.

My pranks were little tricks like, “Oh look!  Your shoe’s untied… April Fools!  Made you look!” But, my benign antics were no match for what these demons could dream up as they got older. I had inadvertently created little, evil monsters with much more sinister shenanigans up their sleeves. It did not take very long before they masterfully beat me to the punch every year. It was never quite as much fun being on the receiving end of discovering gobs of bitter baking soda in the pancake mix, fish oil in the orange juice, cellophane under the toilet seat, “kick me” signs stuck to my back, or rubber snakes on the kitchen floor as I stumbled in for my morning coffee. “Getting” Mom and Dad on April Fool’s Day became a highlight of their year. Still, I had only myself to blame. I had innocently introduced them to this silly tradition, and these little devils had embraced it fully.  The biggest joke of all was that I had introduced this madness to them, seemingly giving them permission to carry on the tradition. They were all too happy to oblige.

While my boys’ April Fool’s jokes didn’t always make me smile back then, the memories of them do now. These days, April Fool’s Day makes me think of all the ways, and all the days throughout the year, that we foolishly trick ourselves without any help at all from wicked little boys. We trick ourselves into believing our frustrations are a result of other people. We trick ourselves into thinking we don’t have enough time or resources for the things we say we really want. And we trick ourselves into believing that our self-worth is given to us by others. None of that is truth. Those thoughts are simply naughty tricks played on us by the most immature part of our psyche.

We are the creator of our own experience… always. We have the same amount of time as anyone else on the planet. It’s just a matter of our priorities and choices.  We are the only ones who can give us what we need to feel whole and worthy and actually decide to see our own unique beauty, strength, and inherent value.

This April Fool’s Day, don’t be foolish. Play tricks with your kids, but don’t play tricks on yourself. Recognize the tricks your mind plays with your life and, as Susan Jeffers, Ph.D once said, “Remove the ‘I want you to like me’ sticker from your forehead and place it on the mirror where it belongs.”


“Remove the ‘I want you to like me’ sticker from your forehead and place it on the mirror where it belongs.”

~ Susan Jeffers


  1. You developed in your boys a sense of humor – to understand small fun, not cruel, pranks with the right people are part of family and friends.

    1. I guess I did, Nikki, but I’m ever so glad they moved out after they were big enough to really get serious! 🙂 I got a text from one of them today saying their neighbors house burned down and scorched theirs in the night… but I was on to them! Years of practice, I guess.

  2. Great message, Katherine! My favorite part was reading about your boys and the tricks they played. I literally belly laughed. Thanks for making my day! See you in Palm Springs in a few weeks.

    1. Oh so glad it made you laugh! It makes me laugh too NOW! 🙂 Can’t wait to hug your neck soon!

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