Laizzes les bons temps rouler!
(Click here to watch my Mardi Gras “Parenting 101” interview on WAFB)
For those of you not in or from the Gulf Coast region, today is Mardi Gras. This is French for Fat Tuesday. If you know anything about Mardi Gras, you probably identify the holiday with beads, gaudy colors and decor, and total debauchery. In fact the old French saying, “Laizzes les bons temps rouler” is often proclaimed with gusto at this time of year. Let the good times roll!
Well, I’m all about letting the good times roll and enjoying this journey called life. Getting bombed out of your skull and whooping and jumping like a maniac to haul in strings of tacky plastic beads is not my top recommended avenue to finding a good time, but do what you’ve gotta do. (see my 08 Mardi Gras post) I’m not throwing any stones (or beads) at those who do call that a good time. I am in no position to throw stones, and see no value whatsoever in doing so.
My intention in writing this post is to encourage you to make it a point to enjoy your self and your family as you make your way through the changing seasons. It can be easy to get so focused on work, bills, chores, problems, school, challenges, and all manner of other mundane or difficult aspects of life that you forget to play and laugh.
I love the way Uncle Buck puts it in the classic family comedy when his niece’s principal tells him, “I see a bad egg when I look at your niece. She is a twiddler. A dreamer. A silly heart. She is a jabberbox. And, frankly, I don’t think she takes a thing in her life or her career as a student seriously!”
Buck pauses for a moment with a stunned look, and replies, “She’s only six. I don’t think I wanna know a six-year-old who isn’t a dreamer or a sillyheart. And I sure don’t wanna know one who takes their student career seriously. I don’t have a college degree. I don’t even have a job. But I know a good kid when I see one. Because they’re all good kids…until dried out, brain-dead scags like you drag them down and convince them they’re no good! (And let’s just say, he really gets rolling at that point.)“
Yes, there is most certainly a time to give serious attention to serious issues in life. Life is not one big party. But if we cut out all the party and silliness and laughter along the way, life gets pretty burdensome and discouraging. We need to laugh and play and joke and goof off. It is good for the soul. It even helps to recharge us to face the serious stuff once again. In fact, I have found that anytime I can laugh in the midst of something otherwise stressful, it reminds me that this challenge must not be killing me, so I guess I’ll be okay.
Play board games. Shoot some hoops. Try that hula hoop. Dance. Play video games with your kids, knowing they are going to destroy you. Skip. Whistle. Sing. Tell knock-knock jokes. Play with your kid in the dirt. Play with your kid in the mud. Leave a tip on the table that is so big, you have to laugh at how ridiculous it is. Leave an offering in the plate at church that is so big, you have to laugh at how ridiculous it is. Let your child have a free “sick day” from school and stay home from work so you can just blow off the day together. Surprise your spouse with a great date. Go to the mall and laugh at all the goofy things people do and wear. (Ladies, Ugg boots, really?!?) Go through your old photos and laugh at the goofy things you have done and worn. Watch “Dumb and Dumber.” Have a pillow fight. Have a silly-string war. Play in the rain.
And above all, don’t take yourself or your problems too seriously!!!
God’s Word clearly instructs us to keep a balance to life, including laughter and dance. You’ve heard the old saying, “Eat, drink, and be merry.” Guess where that gem came from! Check it out.
Let the good times roll!