“Your house must be really fun,” people will say when they find out how many children I have and their ages. I always nod with enthusiasm and agree with them, but inside I think Yeah, but it’s a lot of work.
I don’t really think about that part of it, honestly, how much fun my house is. Mostly my days are filled with just getting through it intact and better off then when we started out. Making sure that the children are happy and healthy and getting done what needs to get done. True, there’s usually a lot of good humor and laughter involved, and I work really hard to remain upbeat and positive throughout the day. And that’s where I think I lose the “it’s really fun” part. I work at having fun.
That isn’t to say that I’m not sincere in my attempts at humor. That doesn’t mean that I’m not having a good time. It means that I let a lot of things roll off my back. It means that I try to find the happy side of things and direct them towards it. It means that even though I’m irritable some days, I put a smile on face whilst dealing with the kidlets, and grump it out after they go to bed (naturally, some days this proves impossible, so I let them know it isn’t them, but me, and they generally steer clear).
All day long my house rings with laughter. It isn’t constant; they do fight and spat and argue, and sometimes they do something foolish and get in trouble. But for the most part, there’s a lot of laughing going on. And I’m usually right there, a part of it if not the instigator. Again, though, I work at it, for them. And in no small part for me, too. It’s a lot easier to let the little stuff go than it is to be upset over.
And then something happens and it brings it all home that yeah, my house is a lot of fun for us. Last nite at dinner, we were having our usual lively conversations about everything and anything. The subject of dimples came up (don’t ask how, I’m not sure). We were teasing our oldest daughter that drinking milk made her dimple cuter (she has one on her right cheek), and my husband commented that when you get old, you get dimples in lots of other places. My son took that and ran with it. He started singing a song about how getting old, getting fat, and getting dimples on your butt. For whatever reason, this struck my second daughter as particularly hilarious, and she laughed so hard she spat milk across the table. More like, sprayed milk everywhere.
Although we all got splattered, and it made a bit of a mess, how could I get mad at that? My daughter was laughing so hard she was holding in her sides. The rest of us were dying. Except for my youngest, who watched us all with her brows furrowed in perplexity, and when we all calmed down some, asked in honest confusion “What’s so funny?” which set us all off again. I think we laughed for a good ten minutes, the kind of laughing that hurts your sides and makes you cry and almost pee at the same time. The kind of laughing where you start to calm down, and all it takes is just looking at each other and you’re cracking up all over again.
And that was just at dinner.
Upon reflection, I realize that for the most part, when we’re all gathered together like that, there is generally a lot of laughing going on. Not usually that dramatic, but still….
…it really is, the best time ever. My house IS a lot of fun.