The Strength of Silliness
We too often get older and get more serious.
I mean that in the nicest way, of course.
As we get older we work, we get careers, focused, and very task-oriented. The things we did as kids, making noises, talking in strange voices, singing Christmas songs in July…that all tends to go away. We have a societal tendency toward goal-oriented life.
Then there’s my house.
Don’t get me wrong, I can be – and have to be – dead serious much of the time. I work in a job that requires me to be a bit of a bulldog. They do call it “watchdog journalism” after all. It’s much like muck-raking and you don’t do that without getting that muck all over you.
So it should come as no surprise that when I’m not raking muck I tend to be nearly the opposite of my work persona.
My kids and I – particularly in the last 3-4 years – have had a tendency to just be silly. Where others would think that’s not an option or crack down I think it’s actually kind of funny.
Just walking around Target my son put on a wig and called himself “Heat Miser.” I took a picture.
Halloween…meet my son…Captain Kirk (Chris Pine version, he isn’t a Shatner fan). The pose was a requirement.
Or you can just go to the average Saturday for us. I went on a walk with my son, just to get out of the house. We should have stayed on the trail, like most normal people.
But how do you resist a fallen tree over a stream when you know it’s just waiting to see if you can balance on it and walk across? Had he fallen in I’d still have taken a picture…but I took the one here of him sitting on the log anyway.
When I cook I sing . . . constantly. We have records playing all the time. In the car we sing along. When I’m looking at the kids a random Monty Python quote will fly out of my mouth. I’ll stare at my son and shout “if you do not do as I say…I will say NEEE! to you!” (If you don’t get the reference, finish reading and go out immediately and watch Monty Python and the Holy Grail. NOW!)
I read Harry Potter to the boys and I do British accents for the characters. I boom my voice like Rubeus Hagrid and go Scottish for Mad-Eye Moody. I chase and tickle and hug.
When they get too crazy . . . serious Dad comes back out.
It’s not a defense mechanism it’s just living. Too often people look at us and wonder – aloud – “how do you manage this? You lost your wife?!”
Yeah…I lost her, and it is hard some days. They lost a Mom, and it’s harder even.
But then there’s just . . . life. Leaves fall and we see them as piles to be jumped upon. Snow falls and it’s snowmen to be created like Frankenstein’s monster. Movies come out and we see them so we can quote them.
Life…it’s not the serious, devastating and somber moments only. It’s the silly little things. It’s the wig at the store and the lichen on the bottom of the fallen tree and the ability to say “I’m givin’ her all she’s got captain!” when your son poses like Captain Kirk.
The world is serious enough. When you’re with people you love…it’s just good to be silly…and let them know what you’re really made of!