Let your kids believe they are getting away with things

If there is one thing I can say for certain about my mom is that she loves to have fun. She told me recently that while I am concerned with everybody being happy, she is concerned with everybody having fun, which is probably the best description of the two of us that I’ve heard. Because of this love for fun, she had countless games that we played together; however, some of the greatest games occurred when Mom was gone.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have a big family, which includes five older siblings. My two oldest brothers always thought of the best games; however, some (ok all) would probably not be mother approved. Now, Like many families, we were not allowed to play with balls in the house as my mom didn’t want us breaking things. It was due to this rule that as soon as my parents walked out the door, my brothers would yell, “Get the balls out” and with that we knew we were in for a night of fun.

Now, like always, a story. My brother Ryan broke his leg in high school and was bed ridden with a full leg cast. Considering he was the most athletic as well as the most playful of the group, he quickly was bored of lying in bed all day. He therefore decided one day that we would play one of our favorite games, pool baseball, but in the small sanctuary of his room. Ryan became the permanent batter, as since he couldn’t leave the bed, it only seemed fair. Now the fun-seeking kid he is, he didn’t want to use a regular bat, but instead broke his crutches apart and made a metal bat. Next, my oldest brother Justin, who was home from college, was the pitcher and sat in a chair positioned between the bedroom and the attached bathroom. Since we figured he was at risk of being hit with the ball, he was wearing goggles from one of his science classes at school. Ryder, the youngest brother, was both the catcher and the outfielder located behind the pitcher in the bathroom. Finally, my sister and I, the babies, were safely secured underneath a desk as my brothers had found a ball that not only went far, but also went fast when hit with a metal bat.

After playing this game for a while, we heard the noise that all kids fear, my mom opening the door. Knowing we were breaking the rules, we expected an immediate punishment. As she walked in and looked at my brother wearing his biology goggles, he quickly said “safety first, Mom”. Due to her appreciation of fun, she started dying laughing and went on her way with a small warning to be careful.

While this was one game, there were many others that happened when my mom was away. From pledging the wood floors and going roller-skating to playing soccer indoors, some of my best memories involved being one of the big kids and playing with my siblings. I recently asked my mom if she knew all the games we used to play when she left. She laughed and said of course she knew as she would come home and find things like vases and her china hidden under tables. However when we were little, she never let onto the fact that she knew what we were doing. After all, we were bonding weren’t we?

Parents have this crazy ability to always know what their kids are doing, good or bad. However, thinking we got something by her was just as fun as the actual games. It is due to this that I learned that sometimes it’s ok to turn a blind eye for the sake of (innocent) fun.

Thanks Mom for letting us break the rules, for letting us have fun, and most of all for pretending like you never knew what we were doing.

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