As Sesame Street would say, this gratitude is brought to you by the letter H. H alone is an important letter to me. It is the first letter of my maiden name, as well as my married name. It starts the words hugs, health, happiness, and hot chocolate, all of which I am blessed to enjoy regularly. I could write for pages on any of these topics, but the word that most comes to mind when it comes to my family and the gratitude I have for them, is hijinks.
My first clue that this word and my family are closely related is that my word processor is telling me it is spelled wrong (the dictionary promises that it is a word though!). This indicates that it, along with my small family unit, is nowhere near ordinary. In fact, we are able to find hijinks where ever we go, even at home.
Just yesterday, my daughter Laila found one of my old nursing bras and decided that it would make a fabulous hat. She proudly wore her “hat” around the house for about an hour. In another instance, when browsing through Target, it became apparent that a family dance party was necessary, and we rocked it out right then and there. Another time, Laila grabbed my empty Starbucks cup while we were shopping and pretended to drink out of it for the remainder of the trip, earning me many a “worst mother ever” stare. These are the moments that keep me laughing.
My husband is an amazing person. He is able to find the fun in every moment. He can turn anything into hijinks. Making dinner quickly turns into a trivia contest, and bath time becomes an epic story involving characters with names like Admiral Fishcat and ducks named Penelope. What should be ordinary grocery shopping soon morphs into a musical experience (no music necessary!). I love that he and I can continuously run a commentary on what we assume our daughter would say if she could talk. I am forever grateful for all his hijinks and optimism.
We are a young family. I am the first of my friends to have a baby. Most like to think that life becomes boring when you marry and have children. This is ironic to me because I have had more laughter, adventures and hijinks since having Laila then I have in my entire life. We are not simply responsible for raising another human to succeed; we are raising another human to be freakishly awesome! We are teaching her to find laughter in even boring tasks.
One of my favorite clichés is, “don’t take life too seriously; no one gets out alive anyway”. What a true statement! Yes, we have gotten some looks from others for acting silly in public places. Miss Manners might not approve of two adults and a baby rolling around on a grassy hill on the first warm day of spring. However, I feel that we are teaching our daughter that you can be involved in hijinks no matter how old you are. Most importantly I hope we are teaching Laila that her family will always be there to make her laugh and take away her burdens.
Are we perfect? Not even close. I take all the suggestions I can get when it comes to being a good wife and mother. Even so, I do feel that if we are laughing and loving, we are truly living. And after all, life is the greatest hijinks of all.