children, family, humor, kids, motherhood, parenting

The Meaning of Joy



As a parent, I have a two basic ground rules that I hold near and dear to me.  The first is that when I ask my boys to do something, they are required to do it the first time I ask them.  The second is that good manners and respect are the foundation for everything.  So, as our Spring Break wore on, so did my patience.  The boys weren’t really understanding that they were getting a lot of fun privileges and they were getting rather snarky with me.  Of course, I don’t expect them to be perfect, but when the latest round of rudeness crept onto the scene, I decided to intervene.  For their rainy day Saturday, all electronic privileges were suspended.  I told the boys they had to entertain themselves and they weren’t allowed to ask me how to do so.   Also, they had an early bedtime and had to read actual books, no e-readers allowed until lights out.

I got right up on my soapbox and explained all the ways they had shown ingratitude for the week.  I went play-by-play over the ways they talked back and disrespected me.  As I was finishing up my impassioned argument as to why they were being grounded, T.Puzzle started to crack a little.  Tears rimmed his eyes but never spilled over.  Full Speed, well, he had a different approach.  He decided an electronics-free day sounded AMAZING.  He went on to have the most joy-filled day of his life.  I could tell he was really trying to stick it to me when he patiently played a board game with his brother and didn’t try to choke him out when he lost.  Not on this day, the most joyful day ever.

It got to be almost comical as Full Speed theatrically and vocally expounded on his joy throughout the day.

I have to admit, I admire his creativity.

Full Speed=1