During church one Sunday Ellison, age 4, was determined to get my attention. Naturally, it was during a quieter time of the service. He tried whispering, tugging on my sleeve and just staring at me, wanting me to look his way, but I continued to look toward the speaker, silently praying, “Lord, help him remember that we don’t talk right now!” A few minutes passed… “He’s making progress. Yes!” I thought too soon.
Ellison got out of his seat, came and stood in front of me, put his face inches in front of mine, cupped my face with his tiny hands and whispered loudly to me, “Mommy, look at me.” His ‘quiet’ determination was so adorable that I got the giggles. Then he started laughing because I was. I am sure that we thoroughly entertained everyone behind us!
Proverbs 31:25 says, “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.” We want our children to respect and honor us as the authority in our relationship, but let’s have fun with them, too! Yes, we have work to do. Yes, we need to teach and correct. But in God’s eyes, we’re children, too… How often do our children experience this part of us?
This verse reminds me to laugh with my children. To get into their fun. To discover what makes them giggle. To relax and look at things through their eyes sometimes – reading their comic strips, watching their cartoon or movie, listening to their corny jokes (and then sharing a few from ‘our day’).
When my children started roller blading, I bought myself a pair of skates, too, thinking I could do this with them since I used to roller skate when I was a child. Well, I quickly discovered that they made it look easier than it was. Though my kids tried to encourage me (through their giggles), I grew frustrated with myself. I became so determined to master rollerblading that I was hardly aware that they were there.
When I stopped focusing on myself and looked at their faces, I saw that they were watching my face. They were no longer smiling; they looked confused, almost somber. Immediately, I felt a mixture of regret for my selfishness and hilarity for how I must look. I burst out laughing and so did they. After that we had so much fun even though it was frequently at my expense.
At any age, our kids want to experience our fun and funny side… They see plenty of our serious side.