About a month ago, I took my son to see the movie, Mr. Peabody & Sherman, the latest flick about the 1950s cartoon dog who is the smartest being in the world. In this movie, Mr. Peabody adopted an orphaned infant boy and named him Sherman.
Due to several hazardous choices by Sherman when he first begins attending school, Mr. Peabody found himself traveling back in time to mend fences with notable historical figures – King Tut, Leonardo DaVinci and Marie Antoinette, to name a few – in order to keep history, well, history.
While I do not have a time travel machine to take care of the oops! we make in our lives, there is one tool in my toolbox that wherever I go in my life with Liam I try to keep on hand all the time.
I must! And we did a lot of it during the movie.
Laughter is a proven scientific method of reducing stress, too. Preventive care specialists at various universities in the United States have been studying the human body’s response to laughter. Studies show that laughing frequently optimizes many of the functions of various body systems … much like exercise. These same studies show that laughing enhances mood, decreases stress hormones and enhances immune activity.
For a single mother who juggles herself, her children and her work, plus all the other demands in her day, it is an amazing free commodity to cling to. It’s also something her children, when they catch it from her, will remember how they feel around their mother and create good memories for them.
Think about it. Comedians talk about the silliness of society and mock it regularly. Audiences laugh. I bet you’re remembering a moment right now about a comedian who made you slap your thigh when you laughed out loud.
The life of a single mother is serious enough. It’s heavy. Why not inject or focus on the comedic moments in your day?
Laugh with your children
My son has gotten used to the fact that sometimes after I sweep or mop floors, I put on Pharrell William’s “Happy” song and video on YouTube and start dancing in the dining room. When I first started doing this, I was uncertain how to interpret his reaction. His facial expressions ranged anywhere from shock to amusement, and then he began to bust his own move. He’s a great dancer, by the way, so we had a ball.
I want the memories of him knowing his mom can laugh and do so to be etched on his heart.
Laugh at yourself
As a recovering perfectionist, I am embracing the fact that not only do I make mistakes but I give myself grace from making them. A sweet friend of mine reminded me a long time ago that kindness goes very far.
Can you be as kind to yourself as you are to others? Can you laugh at your humanness with grace as your best friend?
Laugh at single motherhood
Good grief – when did life get so … intense?
So, about seven years ago my son and I lived in Charleston, South Carolina for a few years before moving back home to South Florida. While there, Liam decided to stuff a roll of toilet paper down the toilet and flush it. The water seeped out of the toilet bowl, onto the bathroom tile, onto the hallway rug and through the second floor down onto the first floor. My baby grand piano sat perfectly below the trickle of water that came from the ceiling. The water drops hit the piano keys and a little music began to play.
It was at this point that my son came downstairs with only his Spiderman light-up t-shirt on, jumping up and down screaming. Every time he jumped, the t-shirt lit up and the music from the piano from the falling water drops played almost in synch with the t-shirt light show.
I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Upon reflection, I think I did both.
I realize that this can happen to any parent … yet for single mothers, I believe it is a good thing to remember to find the humor in the situation as much as possible. Cliché notwithstanding, life is short.