Ever since high school, I’ve considered myself a pretty chill, fun person. The older I get, the more chill I envision myself. And fun! I remember saying in my 20’s how when I had kids, I was going to relive my childhood, jump around in puddles, play Barbies again (but dammit, my boys are not into Barbies), and do lots of arts and crafts. How things change. Recently, I’ve started to wonder if…I’m just no fun.
Here are some examples of what I mean:
The Craft Breakdown
When Mason was maybe 18 months old and Tieren was just about 3, I set up some stuff for them to paint in the kitchen. I had done lots of crafts with Tieren, and I was so excited that Mason was old enough to participate now. Well, the craft session ended up with blobs of paint heading toward my couch, paintbrushes thrown across the kitchen, and paint in the mouths. And two kids being yelled at and hauled under my arm to the bathtub. That was the last time we did crafts together at home.
The Mud Breakdown (Prevented)
This weekend at Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival, we were sitting at our campsite when my brother in law said, “it happened! Mud people.” I looked up, and sure enough, a group of clay-colored moving arms and legs were slipping, sliding, and rolling down the path that surrounded our campsite, which was piled high with mounds of soft, slimy mud. By that point, I had taken off my rain boots. Yes, I had pressed my feet into the glorious, cool mud and squished it through my toes. And I had secret, subconscious dreams of rolling around in the mud myself. In fact, I had mentioned to a couple of people how cool it would be to have a tarp slip-and-slide at this festival that was always getting soaked with crazy storms (and mud). But when I saw the mud people, the first thought that went through my brain was, “how would I ever clean that off?”
The Lava Jello Breakdown (Also Prevented)
It’s probably a good thing I don’t have a photo for this one.
This morning, Tieren had a “great” idea: Mom! Let’s do an experiment, ok? We can paint the bottom of this Jello cup black, and poke holes in it, and then squirt out the Jello like lava!
Me: Um, I don’t think that’s a very good idea. It will be wasting food. (How anti-fun is that? WAH-wah.)
Tieren: Well I will squirt it right into my mouth, like this.
So I’ve figured out part of my problem. I always have to have a PLAN. I have trouble being spontaneous, because spontaneity=no plan. And the fact that I have to have a plan makes me feel like I am also, in fact, not a chill person.
Honestly, I’m not even sure I want or need to be that fun person I envision. I mean, I am who I am, right? I just don’t want to feel like I turned down opportunities for fun that I will regret later.
So I’m making an effort to figure out how to have more fun as a mom. As a person. As a human. In addition to doing something I love every day, instead of letting my ridiculous, apparently uber-controlling mind get in the way, I’m just going to say “sure!” next time a fun opportunity arises. Will you join me?