We had a wonderful time at the Guelph Vintage and Makers Market this past weekend. So many wonderful talented makers, we didn’t want the day to end. And it was here we received the best compliment of all… To my daughter and I she said “you two have such a great relationship” and it was here I realized we really do. And then my friend asked “how?”
But for that I’m not entirely sure.
Her dad and I have always used laughter to make the girl stronger, to get up when she had fallen or smile even though school bullies pushed her around. We encouraged her to keep trying and always, always to be her silly loud imaginative self, because she’s better that way. It’s her silly that makes us love her best.
We made chores into games, and boring walks to the grocery store into grand adventures.
We let her have her own personal quiet time, and she let us have ours. She’s really always been independent so I guess that part was easy. But somewhere in between the games and the rules we found a mutual respect for each other. She gets physically sick if she tries to tell us a lie, she never fears to speak her mind and as of yet, she tells us everything from difficult friends to accidentally smashing her ipod. She feels genuine remorse when we tell her something is not right. I trust her to continue to make good decisions, and tell her this all the time. (does no good if you don’t tell them)
I had lost my silly a few years ago. Was stuck in the darkness and, for the first time ever, I actually closed the craft room door. But the kid kept being silly. Kept being herself. I realized then that she’s my laughter; She’s my silly. She’s my strength. She saved me from the dark and, now that she’s older, we keep each other out of that scary place anytime it seems near. Whether it’s boredom, or sickness or sadness… We have silly little things we do to help each other think beyond the dark gloomy thoughts. Hard to be in a grump when you crank the cheesy elevator music, sing badly really loud, and of course make up your own words.
I know not every mother daughter team has this connection, but it’s not too late. All you have to do is let go, and see things the way a child would. Their wonder, their creativity, their silly games… They want to feel that you believe them when they speak, even if it’s about the unicorn living in the backyard. They want to know your listening and you make time for the imaginary game they’ve made. The more the child feels connected to you, the more respect and understanding they will have for the mommy/daddy rules of life. Plus, I think the moral is as a parent, don’t be afraid to look a little silly. Make your kids laugh.
Not going to lie, not everything is solved by jokes and fairytales alone. There will be hard times (oh, those terrible two’s felt like they lasted an eternity) but now, 12 years later, we have this forever great thing. So, Never give up. And never let the small ones in your life lose their wonder.
That being said, I’ve recorded a few “Words to live by” (or things we told the kid along the way)…
* Once your old enough, and you’ve learned all the appropriate rules, you’re allowed to make up your own words. Like magnifical! (this came about after she was old enough to correct my grammar and word use)
* Only you are in control of your feelings. You can let hurt and pain keep you in a dark place, or you can push past it and choose happiness and laughter.
* Magic exists. In day dreams and hopes and wishes. A little imagination can turn a boring car ride into the most magnifical adventure through a frozen concrete forest in search of the warm healing stone to free everyone from busy office life. And save the unicorn dragons of course.
* Laugh when things go wrong, like when you trip up the stairs and spill dinner. If you saw it in a movie it would be funny so imagine our lives as a movie.
* to the parents: Get excited about things like a kid would. Cuz we are Totally ready to rock the day. Right!?
* I make the rules because I am the supreme leader and I have the pin of power. When you are taller, and you’ve been a good rule follower, I might give it to you. (This one doesn’t work so much anymore because now she is about a foot taller than me)
To sum up…
Keep life fun. Even grownups can be silly.
Whistle while you work. A Spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down….. And all those other things they say in Disney movies to get the moral across.