I was reminded of something this week that I hope to never forget again. But I’m quick-to-forget and slow-to-learn and so I doubt that my hopes will come true but sometimes when I put things in writing it helps me to remember, so here goes…
Remember when you had just had a baby? No, no – not that part! Stop wincing. I mean, when you would look at their sweet little face while they were asleep and you would see them smile ever so slightly and how it warmed your heart? And do you remember how when they were a few months old you worked so hard for their smiles and you would beam and run for the camera when they did.
I remember so clearly how when my boys, each of them, were six months old and there was nothing that would make me crack up harder than hearing their giggle. The one that came when you played peek-a-boo, or when you tickled their belly with your lips or when you sucked on their toes. That smile and the laughing that came were almost too much for one heart to contain. The little squeal that sometimes accompanied it was enough to make me burst. Do you remember that?
Then when they were one the laughing got a bit more involved because they had a bit of logic on their side and didn’t just let it all out at the littlest glimpse of your popping out face. No, now there was definitely armpit tickling involved, or maybe talking in a nonsensical voice or maybe there was even dancing in pure ridiculous fashion. Remember how hard we worked for those smiles. How we would go to any length, even downright absurdity, for the laughter. How much it would fill our hearts to see it and hear it and to know with all of our being that they were happy!
Well, I’d forgotten.
So now we work for good grades and to make the basketball team and we try very hard to be kind to each other and to keep our rooms clean but it never ever happens that well. And I work hard at teaching right and wrong and the process of wise decision making. And they work hard at learning their memory verses and I work hard at making their lunches and they work hard on french vocabulary and I work hard on laundry and they work hard on pleasing me and I work hard at pleasing them but something’s missing.
Nobody’s working for the smiles anymore. Nobody’s going out of their way, out of their comfort zone, out of their nature even, to get the giggles.
No. Somewhere along the way a different sort of day squeezed it’s way in and we trek along, often quite merrily, don’t hear me wrong. We’re not a miserable heap of a family. Not at all. We just sometimes forget that hearing that giggle is worth the effort. Seeing that smile that melts your heart is worth the time. No amount of talking or logic can bring what a random goofy moment can.
Be silly today. Make ’em laugh from the deepest part of their gut. Be the reason that they do. I assure you it will be worth it!
**If you’re stuck for ideas here’s one I pulled a few months ago that the boys still bust a gut over. I tried to pull off that ‘look like your walking down stairs’ thing on one side of the island while they were all having breakfast on the other side. Did you know it’s harder to do that than it looks? Yeah – I fell over. Like right down on the floor. They will never let me forget it! But the way they laugh even when they talk about it makes it SO worth every second of it!