On Water Guns, Shaving Cream and 911 Calls
There is so much about my childhood and my upbringing that I absolutely love. For starters, my family is insane. My mom, my dad, my brother and I are absolute goof balls. Nobody in my family takes themselves too seriously and we love to laugh and to have a good time. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you might have gathered that I'm a deep thinker, a writer and very passionate about my relationship with Jesus. What you might not have gathered from my writings is that I have also been dubbed "the queen of practical jokes," that I've been known to burst out in laughter at inappropriate times for seemingly no reason at all, and that I've earned a reputation for myself as being somewhat mischievous. I owe to this to my parents.
I remember a time when my family and I used to live in a two family house in West Haven, CT. My mother had purchased several small water guns from the dollar store. We kept them lying around the house. It was not uncommon at any point of the day to be attacked by my parents with a water gun while I was sleeping, doing my homework or watching tv on the couch. What would follow was a three party water gun fight throughout the house. Occasionally, the shaving cream would come out and things would get pretty messy.
Sometimes, the jokes would go too far. I remember one time I was at home in the condo that my parents still live in, when someone downstairs in the lobby buzzed up. I answered but all I could hear was heavy breathing. Creepy. They buzzed again but this time they whispered my name through the intercom in a breathy tone. I decided to call my dad, since I was home alone. My dad picked up and I explained to him that someone was downstairs messing with me through the intercom, but that I was okay because they could not get into the building. No sooner had I said that then somebody started banging down my front door hand over fist. I began to scream into the phone, "Dad! They're at the door! They're at the door." My dad instructed me to go into my bedroom and lock it. He called 911 and proceeded to fly down the highway at 80 plus miles an hour to get home to me as quickly as possible. In the meantime, I was curled up in the fetal position, snotting all over myself and rocking back and forth. Next thing I know, my mother comes strolling in the house, smiling from ear to ear. That night she had to explain to the West Haven police why her daughter might have thought she was about to be murdered. To this day, my mother still laughs when I tell people that story.
911 calls and all, I have to say that this goofy playfulness is one of my favorite parts of being a part of my family. To tell you the truth, if we didn't know how to play and to laugh, we all would have cracked a long time ago. As a family, we have been through some rough times. I have memories that I could share that would not be as fun or light-hearted. However, even though we have our fair share of dysfunction, just like every other family, we have learned the importance of knowing how to take a step back, to laugh at ourselves and to have a good time.
There is an important principle to be learned in all of this: No matter what you go through in life, never lose your ability to laugh and to play. We all go through circumstances that we can't see the way out of. We all deal with heartache, pain and sorrow. Life throws us all curve balls every once in a while. But each night the sun goes down and comes up on a brand new day. There is something to be thankful for in even the hardest situations. During tough times, your smile says to the world that you haven't given up yet and that you're still in the fight..
Just remember, when life becomes too demanding and you feel buried under the pressure, grab your water gun and a bottle of shaving cream and go to town.
A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22)