In another room I hear shrieks of laughter, fun and games, taunting and giggling. My children happily play on a typical lazy summer morning. Their young voices filled with all the cheer and joy a good belly laugh can hold.
Yet I tell them to stop.
To stop it now.
And this is what hey hear, “You know how you’re having such a good time? Well I hate fun so just stop it. There will be no fun in THIS house! In fact I demand you stop all laughing and general enjoyment of any kind right this minute. No good can come from happiness so you must remain miserable from this point on.”
But what I actually say is, “Excuse me for a moment children, but would you mind refraining from this activity? I realise you are enjoying yourselves but I fear you may end up hurting yourselves. I care deeply about you, your well being and the furniture so if you would please finish up what you’re doing and move onto a more productive game that would be just wonderful.”
To paraphrase, “Stop it now because someone’s going to get hurt and it’ll all end in tears!”
There is a fine line that cannot be seen by the naked eye, the line between laughter and tears. The untrained ear cannot detect the tone that comes directly prior to a child tripping over this line. But as a mother I have the gift. Call it intuition, call it the power to connect deeply with my children’s essence, or just call it daily experience! Whatever it is I’ve got it down, for I know that not all fun and games are fun and games whether it be in the next room, or even at a neighbours house down the street, yes I have quite the ear for sounding out potential strife.
Sadly I’m quite aware they think I’m the fun police. And perhaps I do tend to jump in before all the laughter has quite finished. And maybe I should let them cry it out till the death. But you’ll have to excuse me for now as I don’t have time to discuss the finer points of parenting. I detect some laughter in the next room that needs my professional ear.