“When in doubt, make a fool of yourself. There is a microscopically thin line between being brilliantly creative and acting like the most gigantic idiot on earth. So what the hell, leap.” ~Cynthia Heimel, “Lower Manhattan Survival Tactics”
My funny son. Today, he has nicknamed his sister and her friend “Loud and Louder”.
And I have to say, I completely agree. Except I might even go one step further and call them “Louder and Loudest”.
I realize they were only trying to have some fun, driving the Barbie car around the house, through the kitchen, through the computer room (right behind my noise sensitive child, no less), through the foyer…hollering all the while. Literally hollering. It’s no exaggeration. Who am I to try and stop a little 9-year-old girl fun?? Who am I to stop Barbie and her friends from driving right under my feet while I am slaving away over the post-sleepover pancakes and turkey bacon? But then Jacob comes off with the Loud and Louder comment and all I could do was laugh. Oh the things my kids say.
This afternoon, Emma and I went to a birthday party for one of the boys in her class. It was held at the boy’s church and there were gobs of people there…kids and adults. Emma had asked me if I was going to stay at the party. I think she was very afraid that she would be the only girl there. We are getting to “that age”, after all. I told her I would stay if she really wanted me to. (She did.) Turns out there was only one other girl from their class there and the others were boys from their class and some other friends of the boy. The other little girl’s mom decided to stick around too. They were going to play kickball, eat pizza and cake (when have I ever turned down cake??) and do presents, etc. When they were picking teams for the kickball game, the birthday boy’s mom asked if I was going to play. I said sure, why not. What’s a little humiliation among a bunch of 9 and 10 yr olds? No biggie.
Keep in mind, I have not played kickball since I was probably in the 6th grade. That was a little while ago. And I don’t know about all of y’all, but I have some pretty scarring kickball memories from back in the day. It’s like one of those recurring nightmares where you get up to kick and you totally miss the ball altogether and end up flat on your back (a la Charlie Brown—Aaaaarrrrrrgh! Good grief! Darn you, Lucy!!) or you suddenly look down and realize you’re in your underwear or you are the last pick or whatever. I was never picked first. Yeah, I know, boo hoo, poor me. Granted I was not very athletic. But I was always SO nervous when it was my kick. Oh the pressure! It’s vastly different playing kickball as a 38 year old woman. All that anxiety of looking like a fool is SO over. I am a dorky gal, and proud of it! And that, my friends, is quite liberating.
I had a blast today. The mom of the other little girl and I were the only moms to play. (The birthday boy’s dad was “all time pitcher”…not a bad gig. I forgot what a workout kickball could be!)She and I both agreed that it was so much fun. Looking a fool and all!
Oh to know then what I know now. Be willing to look foolish. Be willing to laugh at yourself. Enjoy whatever it is you are doing in that moment. Find the joy. Take chances. So what if you fall flat on your back when you take that chance. What’s the worst thing that could happen? Get up and laugh at yourself and get on with the business of having fun. You never have any fun if you walk around being scared all the time–You never have any fun AND you never learn anything. Who knew you could learn so much from a game of kickball?
I’m not sure if Charlie Brown was persistent or just plain dumb. Actually, I think he was really a very clinically depressed individual. But, whatever. At least he took the chance and believed that maybe, just maybe, TODAY would be the day he would actually get to kick that ball.
“Many great ideas have been lost because the people who had them could not stand being laughed at.” ~Author Unknown