Story Time

Man, I really enjoy sitting around with friends (old or new) and telling great stories! Our family had an impromptu cookout with our neighbors tonight and we had so much fun! The grown-ups sat around in lawn chairs and talked while the kids ran in, out, and around us. Each of us was doubled over with laughter at one point or another. And the best part is that we were just talking about life. We told stories about our kids, our childhoods, each other. 
There was no cussing (that I recall) and very little "adult" humor. The funniest things in life are the things that happen to us every day. I thank God regularly for giving me such a strong sense of humor because it makes life so much more... fun! There are countless moments in each day when something unexpected happens and we have a choice to make. It's a choice that's made in a moment, almost without thinking, but it's so important!

It's the day before your daughter's very first day of school... and your toddler son pours carrot juice into her brand new (and mostly white) school shoes. What do you do?
You could get angry and punish the child for making a mess. You could obsess about the money you spent and the impossibility of getting carrot juice out of white fabric. You could feel burdened by yet another item added to your to-do list.

Or, you could stop and appreciate the humor in the situation. What are the chances that your son would choose to pour his juice into someone's shoes, especially those particular shoes? (And who left the brand new shoes sitting out on the mud bench, anyway?) Is it going to hurt your daugher to go to school with slightly orange shoelaces? No. Will it make a great story to tell your mom-friends (and the kids' grandparents) later? Yes!

Should your son think it's okay to pour carrot juice into his sister's shoes? Absolutely not. Will he and your daughter both learn a great lesson from watching their mom confront an unexpected and undesireable situation with humor and grace? You better believe it!
For the record, this example is not theoretical. It actually happened to me a couple of years ago. I'm not saying I made all the right choices in that moment. As I recall, I stood in the hallway with my mouth opening and closing silently for several seconds, then began to freak out. Eli did not get in trouble, but he definitely understood that it was not okay to pour his juice into someone's shoes. The laughing came later, when I started doing one of my favorite things - telling a great new story!

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