When my daughter climbed in the car, she'd been crying. I'd been so focused on celebrating the end of my year of misery that I'd completely overlooked the fact that she had just spent her last day with the 24 kids she'd gone to school with for the past six year. Oops.
God was working this one, though. It turned out that my upbeat victory cruise was delayed long enough for me to sympathize with the loss of friendships and to remind my daughter that she would see her friends any time we went to Mass there. Then, I cranked the volume, rolled down the windows, and all three of my kids and I rocked out to HSM all the way home. It was the perfect thing to bring her back to her cheerful energetic self!
I love that I can let myself be a little crazy with my kids. I certainly did not grow up with parents who let their hair down around me. Or perhaps I did see them at their craziest... Either way, it is an effort for me to be silly with my kids. It's especially tough for me to force myself back into 8-year-old mode to interact with my daughter. I think it's something that we all should make ourselves do. If we force ourselves to let loose with our kids, interact with them kid-to-kid rather than parent-to-child, I think we would all find that there's as much benefit for ourselves as for our children. Seeing the world from their perspective allows us to feel a deeper connection with our kids- even if that perspective is one that wants to read the same book 14 times in a row, that finds great joy in removing items from a box one by one and then replacing them, or that finds palm-sized plastic bobble head animals to be the best thing since Mac and Cheese! If we can get excited about the same things as our kids, it's amazing what may come of them being able to share a part of their lives with us!
* Disclaimer-- I do not plan to apply this theory if I find my children excited by things beyond their maturity, immoral or illegal. :-)