That day is seared in my memory. We were on a family vacation sitting in a fast food restaurant. We were a bit tired from touring the copper mine. And then my son did it. “Look Mom!” He showed me his tongue. Now I have to say, I was shocked and truly impressed. He would fold his tongue inside his mouth so it had four pockets. It was incredible!
And that began the sillies. Soon we were all showing what weird things we could do with our bodies. We wiggled our ears, flared our nostrils, folded our tongues, whistled, contorted, and on and on. We were busting up laughing for a long time. It’s a treasured memory.
It is so important to be silly in our families!
I have to admit, I can be a bit serious. I’m the mom, after all. And things have to get done.
But sometimes—oh, those delicious sometimes—it is just wonderful to let it rip and be completely silly.
The food fights. Four sons, a table of food, you get the picture.
The time we all played in the mud in the back yard because we had no yard yet.
The time we sat on the front porch and tried to learn to whistle loudly.
The pillow fights.
The time I sprayed a can of Raid on the pan to make grilled cheese sandwiches instead of the can of Pam and the children shrieked to alert me. We were howling with laughter as the children once again pointed out that I was a terrible cook and might kill them all.
Building a giant fort with pillows and blankets in the family room and read books by flashlight.
All of these and more are treasured memories. These are the moments when we set aside being “the mom” or “the dad” and join in the silliness of being a family.
So go ahead. Buy three cans of spray whipping cream and have at it when they least expect it. Put the whoopee cushions under the chair cushions just before dinner. Attack your child with Silly String when they come home from school.
They’ll never forget it. A childhood with silly, happy, fun. Can’t be beat.
Merrilee Boyack is the author of “The Parenting Breakthrough" as well as many other books and is a very popular speaker throughout the country, including BYU Education Week and Time Out for WConnect with Merrilee Boyack! She is an estate planning attorney in Lehi, Utah. Merrilee is married to Steve Boyack and they have four adult sons and two perfect grandchildren.