Dear Mom, Mondays: Make ’em laugh

Do you remember those magical moments as a kid when the stars aligned and you said the perfect thing to send your parents into a fit of laughter? Do you remember how good it felt to know that your parents delighted in you?

Dear Mom,

Laugh a little…or a lot. The sound is magic and I will walk away knowing that you think I’m fun, that you delight in me, that I make you happy.

Raising children is a battle. Each morning I wake up, take a deep breath and prepare for the fight. Some days, the fight begins before my feet even hit the floor. By the time I get to the kitchen people are already arguing and crying and tattling and demanding food and drink.

(My children insist on being fed EVERY DAY! Multiple times, even…)

When I awaken to a battle already being waged, I do not smile much. I’m on edge, I’m frustrated, I’m tired, I just want coffee and thirty minutes of quiet. But I’m not afforded such luxeries, so I push through.

If I can find the strength to muster a smile and even a little laugh, it does wonders toward diffusing the battlefield. If I can throw in a little joke and get them laughing, and we all leap together into delight, suddenly brushing teeth and putting shoes on is no longer akin to torture and the waters smooth just a bit.

The other day, when the arguing was too much, the tattling too far, the smiles too hard to force, I pulled up this video and put it in front of the kids.


Hearty laughter abounds and what were we fighting about again?

Sometimes they’re so silly, and the jokes they tell are so bad that I must bite my lip and swallow the impatient sigh. If I can muster a smile, that’s a nice place to start, but if I can offer a chuckle or a genuine laugh, I’ve made the day of the silly clown of a child.

Because fifteen years from now, the children will remember me, their mother, in some form or another. Will I be remembered as one who delighted in them, who filled the rooms with laughter, or the sour puss who only wanted coffee and alone time?

Dear Mom. Delight in your children. Smile often and laugh every day and never forget that they will, potentially, some day be in charge of choosing your nursing home. You want them to choose wisely…

HAPPY LABOR DAY! Go sit on your tail and do nothing… 


  1. Several years ago I asked my pastor’s wife what she thinks she did right so that when her kids were teens and then adults they always wanted to talk to her about the tough things, not to their friends. She said she believes it was that when they were little she tried to always make time to listen to whatever they had to say, even if it meant forcing a giggle over the same joke she’d heard 12 times already ( and it wasn’t funny the first time). I’ve tried to emulate that, although it is one of the hardest things to shoulder each day. I’m so introverted that coffee and alone time feels like oxygen to me, listening to others talk incessantly can feel like having the marrow sucked from my bones. But I have noticed that the more I aim to always listen the funnier my kids are. They crack me up on a regular basis. Not just Kristin either (you know how she is), but all 3 of them in their own way. You’ve inspired me to make that one of my regular morning prayers: “Lord, please let one of the kids make me belly laugh this morning. That would be a great start to the day.”

    • Oh, I LIKE that. Yes, let me belly laugh at them. Particularly the difficult one. Help me to find that one particularly funny. 😉

  2. TRUTH! Hope you had a great day at the beach. I am NOT jealous, again! 🙂

    • Oh…well, you know. It wasn’t that great. I mean, it wasn’t, like, beautiful or perfect or completely and madly delightful or anything. It was just…alright.