Mistaken Identity

May 31, 2021 by  
Filed under Humor, Stories

By Kim Stokely –

Almost everyone who calls the home of a friend with teenagers has experienced something like the following:

(Sound of phone ringing)

Voice on the other end: Hello?

You: Hi Mary (or Alice or Karen…) Have you heard about the sale Kohl’s is having on bras? Buy two get one free. I remembered you saying yours are shot—your bras, not your—

Voice: Let me get my mom.

You: (Loud groan as you realize you’ve been talking to her thirteen-year-old daughter.)

My kids try and pick up the phones in our house that have caller ID so they can prep the person on the other end as soon as they answer. My son even goes to the extreme of sounding like we’re a mortuary or rehab center, “Hello, this is Ian of the Stokely House. How may I direct your call?”

The funniest mix-up happened a couple of years ago when we arranged to reunite with friends we hadn’t seen in over ten years. The restaurant we were meeting at was crowded so my husband and I saved a table while our kids, 14 and 16, went to place their order. My friends walked up to my son exclaiming, “John! You haven’t changed a bit since college.”

My son, with eyes like a deer in the headlights, stared at these strangers a moment before pointing behind him, “I think you want my dad.”

It’s been a fun journey, watching my children grow up into adults. They may not like being mistaken for their parents, but my husband and I take a certain pleasure in thinking at least our voices still sound young! Physically, the resemblances between us are becoming more prominent too. My son, fortunately, has inherited my thick hair. I’m sure he’ll thank me when he’s fifty and nowhere near balding. My daughter has my husband’s metabolism. She’ll never have to worry about gaining weight. (I’ll try not to hold it against her.)

It occurred to me the other day as I watched my son pass the phone to my husband after another case of mistaken identity, that I too, hope to be mistaken for my Father—my heavenly Father, that is. I hope that the words I say, and the things I do, might always be such a reflection of His truth that people see Him in me. It would be awesome to come to the end of my life and have God exclaim, “Welcome to heaven! I’d know you anywhere! You look just like me!”

About Kim Stokely

Kim Stokely has toured throughout the country in a one-person musical about women in the Bible. She lives in Nebraska with her husband and a variety of creatures including: two teenagers, two dogs, a parakeet and a legless lizard. Her stories have been printed in Chicken Soup for the Soul, Vista, and Writers’ Journal and she invites you to visit her website @ www.kimstokely.com to read her award winning short story, Bingo.
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5 Responses to “Mistaken Identity”
  1. Julie says:

    He’ll know you as a close friend. You do shine God’s love, Kim – everywhere & even when you’re not trying.

  2. Mary Wolff says:

    Who hasn’t been on either side of those mistaken phone calls? It’s a great reminder how we are carried on, bit by habit, personality or genes.

    A delightful essay, Kim! Full of memories and family jokes. I’m guessing even the Holy Family has them.

  3. Kim says:

    Mary, I love the thought of the Holy Family having some inside jokes!

  4. Mary Ellen Faust says:

    Hey Kim,
    Great piece! I needed a good laugh. I haven’t experienced quite that funny of a gaff but I have mistaken an older boy for his mom. That’s a bit embarassing! “Oh, I couldn’t hear you..Background noise, you know!” You are indeed inspiring! I love reading your stuff!

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