When our kids were young we had an old pickup truck. This silly truck had a love for ice cream which seemed to hit at the oddest times. Most often it happened when my husband, John, was driving the kids some place. All of a sudden he would pretend to jerk the steering wheel as if the truck was taking control.
“Yikes, it’s happening! My truck is out of control. It needs ice cream.” And rapidly he’d make a detour to the nearest ice cream shop.
Sometimes we’d be having an ordinary night at home. All of a sudden we’d hear John exclaim in a very loud voice, “Do you hear it? I hear it! It’s getting louder. Hurry, climb in the truck. It’s having an attack!” Of course the only way to calm down the truck was for everyone to go get ice cream.
My husband also had a pet rubber alligator. He named him Alfonzo. Alfonzo lived in John’s dresser drawer but occasionally he would escape and hide in some outrageous place–the freezer, a book shelf, under a pillow on the couch, inside a kitchen cupboard, or the dog food container. Alfonzo’s wanderings were never announced and often he wasn’t discovered until he had been missing for days. But when he was found a great shout of joy rang out! Whoever discovered Alfonzo was allowed to ask Dad to do anything for him or her (within reason). Often the request was a special outing. But it was always simply for pure fun.
Simple fun. It’s so easy in today’s over-scheduled society to lose sight of “simply silly things.” Things that don’t have to be put on the calendar or arranged, rather things that can be somewhat spontaneous! A silly thing brings laughter into a family whose members often take themselves too seriously. It restores perspective and adds a layer of fun to family life.
Perhaps as the days turn cold and skies become grey we need to lighten up. Create one or two “simply silly” traditions for your family. You can bet these silly things will be what your kids will remember when they are all grown up.
Does your family have a fun and silly family tradition?
Susan Yates has written thirteen books and has spoken nationally and internationally on the subject of marriage, parenting and women’s issues for many years. For 11 years she was a regular columnist on parenting for Today’s Christian Woman magazine. Susan is the mother of five and has 21 grandchildren, including a set of quads. She is devoted to sharing her wisdom and experience with moms and wives and is selflessly available to those in need. Susan has been a mom for 40 years, she and John have been married for 43 years.