This morning I sent my kids upstairs to get dressed and heard the sounds of them playing together. I heard the high pitched squeals, giggles, and screams associated with their play. When I first heard the laughter I felt a tinge of anger – it was time to get dressed, not play. Then my anger quickly dissolved into happiness. I am so happy that the two of them can laugh and play together. They are playmates, and that makes me smile.

Sometimes I get so angry at them for “messing around” when they should be concentrating on a task. It always seems to happen when we have some sort of time constraint or something equally as serious (to me.) I yell and separate them and threaten to withhold privileges. I can’t understand how they can forget the task at hand and be so silly.

Then I remember that I, too, was once silly. I remember sitting at the dinner table at my best friend’s house and getting into so much trouble for laughing and carrying on. They used to yell at us and threaten and get so angry because we just couldn’t stop snorting and spitting and “messing around.” I never understood why her parents would get so frustrated with us. After all, we were only laughing. What was the big deal?

Well, now that I have kids, I understand what the big deal was. I understand the anger. And I’m a victim of that anger. Because when I’m not rushed, or trying to think, or trying to talk to someone, or my head doesn’t hurt, I am very happy that they can laugh and carry on together. I love the sound of their laughter.

The trick is trying to remember that it’s not a big deal to them and not begrudging them the chance to be playmates. I’m trying.


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