My friend, a brilliant business man, powerful speaker and motivator, called me at the end of last week to discuss a few ideas and we had an interesting conversation to say the least. It all started off well, we were on task and focused but then, he paused. At first I thought we’d been cut off. Then I heard a shrill scream in the background and my friend called out to his son to “Put that boogie board down Thomas*”. After what I can only imagine was a stern fatherly look in his son’s direction to enforce his command, my friend returned to our conversation; momentarily. We had only exchanged a few words when he again called to his son “If you don’t put the boogie board down and stop hitting your sister with it you will go inside.” ( Are you chuckling? I was. I guess it also had something to do with boogie boards being so topical in the Australian news recently)
Not three minutes after our conversation had resumed there was another pause. I thought it was a pregnant pause, offered to allow me time to digest what he’d just said. But no. He was training his concentration on his daughter who had decided to take her revenge on her brother with a snorkel. So again, I heard my friend holler to sweet little Georgia*, “Put the snorkel down Georgia and get back in the pool.”
With the boogie board and snorkel safely retrieved our conversation began, again. Only to be interrupted several minutes later with a call to “Put the stick down. Put the stick down Georgia. We don’t run with sticks.” My friend then told me with mirth in his voice that his determined daughter was standing in front of him, hand on hip, naked and staring him down after his latest admonishment.
Seriously, it was hilarious and I was ever so grateful I’d only had one child and that he was now an adult. My parenting skills weren’t all the best so I was lucky, while my son was a cheeky little imp at times, he was a fairly docile little fellow.
The fun and hilarity didn’t stop there. The best was yet to come and I nearly peed myself when I heard him call “No, no. Don’t roll around the grass naked.” Crossing my legs and trying to tame my laughter I said to him, “boogie boards, sticks and snorkels – there’s a blog in that” and we laughed.
I so admire people who, after their first child, go back for more. The weight of the responsibility and a lack of confidence in my own ability, to perform well in the role, deterred me, ever so strongly, from having more children.
Children are a source of great joy. Watching them grow up and interact with the world is a delight. Listening to their perspectives and ideas is refreshing and insightful. My friend, who is one of the best parents I know, may not have been seeing those positive attributes that afternoon as we wrapped up our conversation. The last thing he said to me, tongue in cheek, was “I’m done. I’ve had a huge week and I’m going to drink scotch. Straight from the bottle.”
That short, colourful conversation with my friend (and his kids) was a powerful reminder to have some fun and to inject a little childlike silliness into life.
Have some fun this week.
But …. Just remember, don’t run with sticks or roll around the grass naked, you might get bitten on the bum by ants or get itchy. Be aware too, that if you hit someone with a large piece of surfing equipment you might just be clobbered back with an equally unusual object.
And, above all else … if you drink scotch, why dirty a glass?
Yours in joy, fun and silliness,