Parenting is serious business and that’s why it’s so important to laugh – at ourselves, at the circumstances we find ourselves in, at the serious-to-them- but- hilarious-to-us remarks our children make.
I love hearing the stories from parents, after the air has cleared, that are truly funny situations, and so therapeutic for parents and friends to enjoy, privately, with each other.
I say privately because I am not endorsing ever laughing at or in front of your child, at their expense, making him/her feel embarrassed or self-conscious. I mean mastering the art of the “turn-away” twist, so your 3-year-old doesn’t see you smile when he firmly declares, “You’re Not The Boss Of Me!” or, in just the right situation, your four-year-old says,” Oh, ****” .
I mean the private glances exchanged between spouses and partners, over the heads of their young children, that I find so endearing. It might be in the middle of complete bedlam, all three children having melt downs, the phone ringing, the pot boiling over, but the shared look conveys that this is our life right now, and we are doing it together with love.
That’s why comic strips that depict family life are so effective in capturing the emotions, humor, stress of everyday situations with children and resonating with parents. From Baby Blues, who so poignantly “gets” what it’s like to be in the throes of bringing up young children to Zits, the experiences of living with a teenager to Family Circle, spot-on with understanding and sharing the way young children think, we notice a part of ourselves and our lives in them – and we say “yes”.
Yes to the fact that raising children is hard, yes it can be stressful, yes, it’s full – of life, emotion, commitment, work, growth – and, yes – it’s often quite hilarious.
So – go ahead- laugh a little, laugh a lot – enjoy.