Wednesday, June 29, 2005


"You know, years from now, we'll all be laughing about this."
Well said...for someone who can only say that because they're probably not going through whatever you're going through. But they're right. How many times can you remember doing something as a child that really made your mom's day? (made your mom's day memborable for all the wrong reasons!)
And we can all laugh at those things now. Whether it involved a permanent magic marker and an idea of becoming a clown, taking a 6 year potty-training-course, or frying the hell out of the neighbor's cat with several layers of paint-'cause he'd make a great "Black Cat," we all have those funny stories. But they weren't funny at the moment, or as my friend Cindy would say tilting her head to the side, "or were they? hmmmm." They had to have humor in them, otherwise we wouldn't be able to laugh at them today.
The humor was hidden behind the anger, frustration, and the smell of wet pants in the back seat on a 100 degree day. Yes, I frequently do laugh at all those "good 'ol days." Yes my mom laughs today at what was a really bad string (6 years) of bad days.
Now, in the heat of the moment, it wasn't feeling very funny, but it was there. It just needed a different perspective. There are those super-beings who regularly find the humorous light in those moments. You know who they are, they're the ones laughing at a moment that even if it isn't your moment, would have you in tears, red, screaming, yelling in anger, frustration, giving up!
Wouldn't it be great if we all did that? What would the children think? It's not what they would think, it's what they won't think. They naturally laugh, smile, play, make mistakes, LEARN without thinking twice. What they won't think is that they made you miserable. They won't think that they can't make mistakes without some horrible consequence. They won't think that guilt and shame are "normal." (Guilt= feeling bad for doing something wrong: Shame = feeling bad about who I am for doing something wrong) They won't think that when they do something wrong they can't go to you for help. They won't think that they have to fear boundaries because of the prospect that they might get chastised for

".....not failing, but aiming low is the sin."

Let's not do this to our kids. Let's not condition them to aim low, accept mediocre, stay inside the box, color inside the lines, just be one of the crowd. Let's give them the freedom to explore, change, make mistakes, and after some genuine heartfelt conversation then laugh at those same mistakes.
I might do well to take this all to heart myself, but then mightn't we all? All of us might, except for that buddy next to you laughing at the way your kid peeled the left side of your truck back when he thought he could fit between two trees on that awesome trail...when he borrowed your truck without asking...for the weekend...and with a neighbor girl...whose parents didn't know where she was either...just that she left with your son.
Now come on, it's funny, if you don't think so, try telling some friends and ask them not to hold any feelings back. If they can laugh about it now, you can laugh about it years from now. You CAN ALSO laugh about it now. Get the business side and tears out of the way and then laugh till you shed some more happy tears. Hey look at it this way, you might not solve the problem but at least you'll have a relationship where there are no secrets; you'll have a child that will have no problems-no problems telling you about their problems anyway.

-I'd say it's a good trade,