Growing up I loved April Fool’s day. Looking back I can see that maybe my April Fool’s jokes were not so clever after all. As the youngest of six I am sure that my older siblings were never fooled by my efforts. They had already heard them all! However, I really like the idea of a day full of fun and joking. With all of the political correctness police hovering over every word, it is nice to think that we might have a day pulling each other’s legs.
My dad was always good for a joke. His smile was infectious and he flirted like mad. People liked him because he liked people. He wasn’t afraid to tell someone that he like them or that they had done a good job. He also wasn’t afraid to tell them when they were doing it wrong. He felt that a quick smile could solve more problems than anger. I must be cut from the same cloth because I feel the same way about most things.
I like to be silly and I want my children to be silly. Life is complex and difficult and made even harder if we can’t laugh at ourselves. We have often told our children that when others flirt or tease it means that they really like you. But it seems that our culture goes ballistic if the slightest word or phrase is not perfect. We become offended at the slightest thing. What happened to open minded thinking? Dialogue in its original form was an exchange of ideas. Why in the world would I think that I am so important that no one can disagree with me? What a boring world we are creating. Everyone must think alike or be damned.
I do not want to live in a world where we can’t disagree or make a comment without feeling fear. In the last year or so there have been several stories of professors getting fired because the students did not like their explanation of events or their opinion of how things operate in this world. Last week a man lost his job because of a careless comment he made on national television. I did not agree with what he said, but neither did I feel that he should be publically castigated either. I disagreed and moved on.
At school our children are not allowed to form any kind of opinion or stand up for their beliefs in case they offend another. They swim unendingly in pools of uncertainty as they try to parse what every syllable means. We have stripped the teachers of authority through rules, regulations, paperwork, and fairness at all costs. Every opportunity for logic and open thought is thrown out for mind-numbing procedures. Our children no longer discuss the many different ways that a problem can be solved. They can’t openly explore their own religion or patriotism. They must be politically correct at all times when in reality open conversations are at the very heart of learning and civilization.
I propose more silly days where it is ok to tell someone that they smell nice, where we say silly things so that others may laugh, we compliment and joke and we smile and appreciate. I propose days where we give grace where it is needed and we allow children to be innocent and say silly things that don’t particularly make sense. One of the reasons I love having so many children is that my day often starts out silly.
From the youngest: “Hey, mom, do you know what happened yesterday at school?”
“No, tell me.” I am plopping waffles out on plates as fast as I can.
The pre-teen snorted and I looked over at the youngest. “In soccer?”
“Yep, he had to sit out for a minute.” He munched on his waffle.
“Well, I hope that doesn’t happen to you.”
“Me either. Getting hit in the crutch is the worst.” He munched for a minute and said, “Ooohhh, mom, these waffles are great!”
I couldn’t help smiling. The pre-teen was grinning from ear to ear. We smiled in silent communication as he nodded to me that HE, the el suprimo teeno, knew the correct word. Not a bad way to start the day – unless you are the goalie!
Hope your day has a silly moment in it!