Saturday, December 02, 2006

Laughing Parents

My wife and I have had our share of ups and downs throughout the years, but as time goes on and we continue to solve more and more problems, things are looking much better. So much so that the other day we were cleaning the house – a weekly ritual for us – and it seemed like half the time we were joking, kidding around and just having a good time. Finally my wife noted how much fun it is to laugh so much like that. I immediately said that yeah it’s fun, but how can we raise children this way? (We’ve been thinking about that a lot lately). She wondered what I meant and I explained that in my mind, to raise children means we have to be serious people.

it suddenly struck me that I had never seen my parents laughing or joking together. i guess as a result I just assumed that to be a grown up is to be serious, grave, perhaps even grim. The Parental voice in my heads explains to me that, after all, life is a terrible and frightful venture, not to say depressing, so what on earth is there to laugh about? As you can tell, I did not grow up in a carnival-like atmosphere, to say the least. Upon reflection my wife also could not recall seeing her parents laughing together.
I guess I should count myself lucky that today I can laugh whole-heartedly, and I even have a loving partner to do it with. I hope you do too.

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mother in israel said...

I often think that some of my most difficult challenges as a parent would have been practically eliminated had I been able to deal with them with more of a sense of humor than I could muster in the heat of the moment. Yes, there is such a thing as too much, but as you and your wife acknowledged, growing up in a humorless house is no fun. I don't know how any parent could survive early childhood and the teenage years without a sense of humor.

Karma said...

I think a lot of reason that I see parents lose their sense of humor has to do with the difficulties that they encounter - which just aren't funny...are overwhelming.

But, I think its a lovely idea.

Jerusalem Joe said...

i'm sure the difficulties can be overwhelming, but they surely are not unexpected.
parents, before having children, should ask themselves if they are up to the task, and even before that - why they want to have children - to please their parents? their friends? to cuddle up to a sweet smelling baby - that soon will grow up and no longer be so sweet?
most parents don't ask themselves these things and end up giving bad, spur of the moment answers.
perhaps that's why they forget to smile - they forget that they chose to have the children, with all the attendant joys and agonies.