Parenthood Is Better with a Little Happy Foolery by Toulouse & Tonic
Last year, my kindergartner learned about April Fool’s Day for the first time and although his enthusiasm for the concept was high, he got the idea just a little mixed up. He came home from school that day jokeless, but nevertheless laughing and yelling “Happy Fools!” at me, at the dog, at his brother, over and over again with abject joy.
Asher eliminated the trick from April Fool’s Day and made it a day to just be a happy fool.
In retrospect, I can see that I lived a lot of my life before kids as a happy fool. I didn’t know what I didn’t know and I was happy not to know it. My problems were few and I was blissfully ignorant of their pettiness.
But I’ve found that life as a real grown adult with children doesn’t always lend itself to happy foolery. There are the demands that you expected and so many more you never could have anticipated.
I never dreamed I’d have a 29-week preemie and consequently, I never expected to have to know what living the NICU life is like. But I found out anyway. I certainly never thought for a second that I’d one day have to thread a feeding tube down a squirmy baby’s nose, throat and into his stomach multiple times. But I did it, again and again for a year.
Many challenges have come my way as a parent – both boys have had health issues that no parent expects – but with each successive one, I put on my big girl panties and mom up. And here’s the interesting thing – I find out that I can do all kinds of things I thought I couldn’t. Difficult things. Things that don’t lend themselves to laughter and silliness but to stress and worry.
But what fun is that? Although there’s hardship in life, there’s also immense happiness to be found in even the most foolish and fleeting of moments. My kids need their happy fool time – and they need their happy fool mother too. Despite the grown-up problems I face, I still need to take off my shoes and dance in the fountain. Make funny faces. Chase the children and hide in plain sight. Pretend the entire world is like the grainy old film of my dad crossing his eyes and dancing around with a mixing bowl on his head while my sisters and I roar with glee.
My boys deserve the immeasurable joy of those happy fool times with me. I might need them just as much.
And so I embrace Asher’s philosophy. This year and every year, I am a happy fool.
ABOUT TOULOUSE: Toulouse is a SAHM of 2 stinky boys who works hard to increase her mothering skills by stalking other mothers on Facebook, tweeting funny bon mots on Twitter, pinning hilarious sayings about drinking wine onto her Pinterest page, and exercising her family’s sense of humor by writing about them at Toulouse & Tonic. While her methods are unorthodox, she is succeeding at making her kids hate her one post at a time.
CONTINUE READING IN THE FAMILY ROOM