Last week it was my turn to teach Charlie’s little joy school class. I was teaching on the Joy of Spontaneous Delight. The problem was that I felt truly AWEFUL, I was full of congestion I was achy and really didn’t want to muster up any joy, let alone the joy of spontaneous delight and silliness!
Once I came to terms with the fact that was no way out I decided to suck it up, clear my head of grumpiness and tell myself to just let go and be silly with these four boys. In truth, I love it when I get to teach this unit of Joy School. I love it because I need it. Playing with my kids and being silly doesn’t really come naturally to me (that’s an understatement). This unit always forces me to remember how important it is let go and enjoy my kids. It’s easy for me to enjoy them when they’re learning things, being obedient, falling in line, enjoying things I like. What’s hard for me is to enjoy their silliness. It’s hard for me to see the delight that comes in being loud and crazy and messy because for me that usually means more mess and more work. But I've realized how important it is to them to feel enjoyed. They need to feel some kind of companionship from me in their silliness. Maybe not all the time (I couldn’t do it), but every once in a while. They need me to get on their level and laugh and be loud and even messy and crazy. Whenever I do, they stand back and look at me with a strange sense of shock and admiration. I think this kind of behavior is more impressive to them than any other parenting move I may get right. They feel a connection with me, they know I can see things through their eyes. They can feel that I’ve let go of all my expectations for how our interactions should feel, how clean and contained things should be. They know I’m just there….in the moment….with them….enjoying.
So, we blew soap bubbles and popped pop corn with out the lid on the popper. We got out the shaving cream and felt it squish through our hands as we smeared it all over the island. Sure, we made some messes, but it wasn’t that big of a deal to clean up…..and the delight was well worth it.
I love how much I’m learning from these kids of mine.