We had one whole week of winter break left. It was Sunday and I needed a game plan. I have three kids and over the holiday break you can only do so many things without spending one million dollars. The solution? Cousins!
We met half way, scooped up some cousins, and we planned to play until Wednesday afternoon.
I messaged a mom to make plans with her kids for Thursday and Friday. In which she replied: What are you talking about?! School starts TOMORROW.
How did I miss the fact that school started back up in the middle of the week - on Wednesday?! As in TOMORROW?!
I started laughing and telling the kids that school started tomorrow and the cousins looked very confused and my husband stared at me and my kids started begging me to not go back and everyone was unsure why I thought it was all SO very funny.
Because it was!
Why I did not have the day they go back to school written down with BOLD lettering and glittering markers is beyond me. I had zero excuses. And it was so over the top to me that I just started laughing.
Laughter in life at blunders, messes and mixed-up details has meant freedom and a lighter load for me. But I was not always this way. And, let's be real, some days it's still hard to laugh.
But here's why laughter is a rich gift:
Laughter Frees Us From the Prison of Perfection
My 30 year old mom-self would have FREAKED OUT that I had cousins at my house (with a 2 hour away trip back) and school the following day. I would have been embarrassed that I didn't know the right day or time. I would have looked dumb and felt dumb. But my 37-year-old motherhood is looking different. I am wearing badges of laughter and grace instead of beat-myself-up bruises. I am free to say: "Whoops!" And I am ok with: "HA!" as a first response to what otherwise would have been a catastrophic mistake just a few years back.
Laughter Lightens Our Load
When I am taking myself and my reputation so seriously, I have no room for laughter. And that load is heavy to bear. It's a lot of work to keep it all together; I am tired of beating myself up about a forgotten lunch or misplaced keys. It's become way more fun to say: "Whoops! Ha!" than to tell myself how dumb I am. Some of us ADHD moms needs to lighten our loads and laugh where we can. Which is a lot more than we think.
Laughter Frees Up Others Around Us
If I am not trying to be perfect in your presence, then you are also free to be you. And we can all be lighter. We don't have to be so serious. We can exchange our real selves, our real truths, and real grace. We can stop putting burdens of perfection onto ourselves and also others. We can decide that there is more to life than Perfect. There is Freedom. There is Ease. There is Joy. Love. Peace. Hope. Restoration. Kindness. Goodness. Faithfulness. Yes, of course, we must work hard, be responsible, have self-control, take care of ourselves and our work. But somehow I had forgotten that grace is a powerful tool when it comes to failure as we go about our day. And grace and laughter - they are soul sisters.
So here's some questions I am keeping in front of me: When I hit a mistake or a misstep, can I laugh at myself? Is there room for grace here? What do I need to own and take care of and apologize for and what do I need to let go and laugh at? Why can't I laugh here? What am I protecting?
As for the decision about school: One more day of break was granted. We didn't sweat a missed day and enjoyed it fully: laughing, playing, enjoying an extra gift.