I have never been good at being silly. Oh, I’ve looked silly before, but usually it was completely unintentional and embarrassing. Skits at summer camp made me shudder with fear. I grew up singing from the time I was three, often performing solos for crowds of hundreds, but dressing up as a member of a girl band while lip-syncing and dancing on stage? Not for me.
As mothers we know all about the joy of being silly, especially when playing with our kids. I’ve played with doll houses and train tracks, pretended to be everything from a ballerina to a Jedi, crawled through tunnels at the playground, and been a secret spy in the grocery store. I have even channeled the mom from The Incredibles, making silly faces while trying to feed my toddler. You would think it comes naturally, but not for me. If my kids ask me to be silly, I do my best, but I am definitely not one to come up with fun ideas on my own.
Then came Pinterest. Somewhere in the thousands of pins, I found it. The perfect silly idea for the whole family to enjoy. It seemed easy enough–a quick trip to the local dollar store to pick up some water guns, a plastic zip top bag, and a note was all I needed.
I devised a plan and gave the kids a “secret mission”–get dad as drenched as possible. We were beaming with excitement as I filled each water gun. I placed one water gun in the plastic zip top bag and taped it to our front door. Next to it I taped a note that read: “You have entered the war zone and are now under attack. This is your only weapon. Ready…Go.”
A few minutes before we expected our target to arrive, we went outside to hide. Five minutes went by, then 10, then 15. The anticipation increased as we waited. My kids and I had come up with routes and plans for our attack, all of which fell apart when the battle actually began of course, but it was fun to pretend we were spies.
Finally, after all that waiting, our target arrived. We were bursting with such excitement by then we could hardly contain ourselves! We heard him go to the door and then he walked, quite hesitantly I might add, toward the courtyard. The kids were the first to attack. They caught him completely off guard and made a good dent in the “get dad drenched” mission.
My approach was stealth. I hid behind a wall and waited for the perfect moment. It’s funny to think about, but I really got into it! My heart raced a mile a minute and my breathing was fast. I totally felt like a super spy just waiting in the shadows.
Then, just before he turned the corner, I jumped out, feeling so proud that I got him first. Then I realized my disadvantage…everyone loves dad. Immediately he ordered all attacks to be rerouted to me! I ran through the courtyard trying to find safe cover as they sprayed me from head to toe.
I called a “mommy time-out” so I could capture that fun and silly moment on camera. We were out there for at least 45 minutes with several refills of the water guns. By the time we called a truce, we were soaked and had tummy aches from laughing so hard.
As I watched my family walk together into the house, I had one of those peaceful moments–the kind where everything is still, time stops, and life seems absolutely perfect.
I would never have come up with this idea on my own. However, the more time I spend being silly, the more I realize that a grand plan isn’t necessary. Sometimes something as simple as calling the family together, turning music on and dancing around the living room is all it takes for those special moments to happen.
Though I struggle with letting my hair down and just being silly with my family, I hope that after this experience I will look for those opportunities and embrace the fun.
QUESTION: What does your family like to do for fun? What can you do to create more silly moments in your day?
CHALLENGE: Do at least one silly thing and have fun as a family this week.