I don't know about where you live but where I am it's been really hot, steamy and rainy. A week or so ago we were in the midst of a heat wave and it was very uncomfortable, so when it started to rain I went outside to cool off. After a moment I thought, my kids might enjoy this too, so I went in to get them. They immediately abandoned the pictures they had been drawing to run outside.
They thought it was so funny to run around in the rain while still in their clothes, because around here getting rained on usually means you will end up freezing. After just a few minutes we were all soaked, but very refreshed. Then my daughter Gigi who's 10 asked if they could jump in the pool in their clothes. Both Gigi and her little brother Jack who's almost 8 looked at me with pleading eyes. They fully expected me to say no way. After all I had already shocked them by standing out in the rain.
I said "Sure, dive in!" They had a blast! At one point the rain started coming down so hard we could hardly see and just as suddenly it stopped and right across the street we noticed the closest rainbow we had ever seen before. It felt so much like we could reach right out and touch it. Possibly a sign to me that it's good to loosen up every now and then and just enjoy the moment?
The other day my kids were in the pool with their grandparents and my husband. I had been in the house catching up on some chores. I looked out the window and noticed my daughter trying to dive and that she seemed distressed. This has been her pattern when learning anything new, it usually involves a lot of I can't do its, tears, screaming and whining from her until one day it just clicks and she has moved on. Of course the grandparents were "trying" to help with their comments but that as you can imagine it just added to the frustration. I sensed a little fun might diffuse the situation.
So I stood by the side of the pool and kicked my shoes off, I told her I would count to 3 and we could dive in together. She was completely surprised. "But mom, you are in your clothes!" "So?" I said, "No biggie." She rushed to my side, we counted to 3 and dove in. Just as I suspected it was very successful at breaking the tension. We dove in again and again, no fussing, she was laughing and smiling the rest of the time. I felt so good, like we were on vacation, relaxing and just goofing around.
It felt so freeing to be "fun mom" for a moment. The day to day stuff is so filled with stress and tension that it's easy to get all wound up and forget to have fun. I definitely plan to loosen up more often but I must admit that I love the "surprise" factor I have working for me at the moment. I love that my kids don't expect these "crazy" things from me.
One would think that standing in the rain and swimming in your clothes are hardly big shockers. As a matter of fact I did those things when I was a kid, but somewhere along the way I seem to have misplaced my sense of fun and adventure with seriousness and anxiety. This summer I plan to reconnect with my fun side, for me that might mean baby steps or one raindrop at a time. I'm not sure what I've been waiting for but it's important to have fun every day, especially with your kids. They grow up so very quickly and I would rather the times we danced in the rain out number the mornings I yelled at them.