I was reminded today about the gift of laughter, the joy that can be found in play… even as an adult. Yesterday we attended a birthday party for a three year old, the backyard was filled with a bunch of young boys, a few girls thrown in for good measure and of course a bunch of adults. It was a hot afternoon, and the kids all had their slip and slide, the sprinkler and some squirt guns. As it turned out, the adults had more fun with those water guns than the kids, and a number of kids were the targets of water shots. Some, innocent bystanders who happened to be between the one adult being shot by another adult, and in some cases purposely shot at by their parents. It was fun, there was laughter, there were some marriage battles that I can only assume were very therapeutic to the marriages. One husband targetted his wife… with a full bucket of water! Fun times were had by all!
I posted the pictures on facebook and today at church I had many comments about them. It would seem that watching adults have some fun is more community building than any other activity. It made me think about ‘play’, and how sometimes we just don’t ‘play’ enough.
Today, after church during our coffee time a few of us had a camera ‘ninja’ game going on… sneaking up on an unsuspecting person and shooting a shot of them. We laughed and giggled… it felt so good to not be taken so seriously, to not take life so seriously. It made me FEEL younger! My goal for this summer is to play more, and laugh as much as possible. The last few years I have grown old, I have stopped playing pranks, stopped laughing as much, and today I had time to stop and think about that.
What do I want my kids to remember of their childhoods? A Mom who was always serious, spouting rules and lessons, or a Mom who got dirty with them, who played with them, and who’s parents played together. I want them to look back at this time in their lives and remember laughter. I want them to grow up and have kids and teach them how important laughter can be for the soul.
We were given another 6 months of breathing space with Josh, another six months to relax, another 6 months to live and love and laugh together. Not all of us take the time to live in this moment, I forget it many times myself. I spend time worrying about tomorrow, I worry about next week, next year, or 5 years from now. Where will I be, what will we be doing? Instead, I want to just be here right now, now just living to get by, but creating memories, creating moments.
I think one of the reasons that I love photography so much is that I can live a moment, really live it, and then capture it for the years when those moments are gone. I don’t want to be a bystander, watching those memories unfold before me, I want to be in that moment, and I want to capture it so that the pictures can remind the boys about the laughter we shared together as a family. It’s not always an easy balance. It is so easy sometimes to stand behind the camera, shooting the shots but not participating. My goal this summer is to learn how to do both. To know the right time to take the shot, and to also know the moment to put the camera down and just enjoy.