Ray and I are busy. Busy with many things, but most importantly, busy trying to instill our kids with values. Values that they will carry throughout their entire lives. One of these “lessons” that I feel we have on repeat every day with Elijah is, “It’s Ok To Laugh at Yourself Sometimes.”
Elijah is my little mellow fellow. He doesn’t like attention, never has. He is just not a fan of attention being drawn to him…especially when he’s at the center of it. Sometimes, he says (or does) some of the funniest things that we can’t help but laugh at. We try to tell him, “Bubba, we aren’t laughing AT you, we’re laughing WITH you”…the only thing is, he’s not laughing at all. Usually, it ends in tears because he just doesn’t like jokes at his expense…although they are always harmless. Plain and simple…he doesn’t like it. Even if it’s something GREAT (like making a touchdown) Elijah won’t tell anybody about it, because the attention will be on him.
Well yesterday, I found myself having the daily talk with him after he fell off of the car seat. Emaleigh and I started laughing, and after a few minutes Elijah was in tears. I told him, once again, “Buddy, don’t take life so seriously. Sometimes, things happen, and we just have to laugh! Especially when it’s just our family around!” Emaleigh and I went through story of story of things that have happened to us that we just had to laugh at. Trust me; I have A LOT of stories…just wait. That seemed to help a little bit…but what helped even more was the firsthand experience that we had later on that evening. I’m glad that Elijah is more of a visual learner, because what he was about to see would really help this “lesson” sink in.
We went to my nieces’ play, and afterwards I was gushing over Bubba’s touchdown that he made that morning. I knew that he wasn’t going to talk about it, so I was telling my brother and sister in law all about it…not just telling, showing…movements and all. I even put my purse down for the re-enactment. Anyway, I was showing them the figure 8’s and crazy zig zags that Bubba did to achieve his touchdown…then it happened.
I don’t even think I made loop.
I don’t even think that I made it to a zig…or even a zag for that matter.
As I went to turn around, my left foot slipped and I went down. I didn’t even have time to catch myself. I slammed to the ground hitting my left hip, arm and face against the gym floor. Not sure if I need new soles on my boots or if the school needs to sweep their floor…either way, there I was lying on the floor completely embarrassed.
But, I knew that Elijah’s eyes were on me. His mom, who just face planted in a gym full of strangers.
Yes, I am 31 years old. And yes, (even at 31) when something embarrassing happens, it makes me feel like I am a 7 year old kid. It even gave me a flash back of farting in 6th grade while I was in mid sit-up. Complete embarrassment.
Every ounce of me wanted to cry. I could actually feel my face turning bright red (just as it always does when I’m embarrassed) and I could taste every ounce of dignity leaving my body. Well, that might have actually been the gym floor I tasted. Did I mention how hard I landed? Oh, and did I mention it was in a gym full of 8 members of my family and about 40 strangers?
It was the type of fall that happened so fast, yet it keeps replaying over and over in slow motion. It was the type of fall that has left my arm SO completely sore today. It was the type of fall, that had I just been an observer, I would have reacted the same way that the rest of my family did.
I wish I could say I did it on purpose to make a point. But that wasn’t the case at all. And, just so everyone knows, Elijah looked NOTHING like that when he made his touchdown.
Anyway, as much as I wanted to cry, I didn’t. I joined in with my family, who was clearly laughing AT me. Not just laughing either…they were keeled over, hysterically laughing. When I got up off of the floor, I looked up to see Elijah with the biggest smile on his face. Luckily, it was just my family who was looking at me. I’m almost positive that every single stranger there saw, but they were all embarrassed for me, and decided to turn their cheeks. Anyway, after just a few minutes, I didn’t even have the urge to cry anymore. There were tears, but the tears were from all of us laughing so hard.
Needless to say, I’m glad that Elijah was able to see me (in a moment of complete embarrassment) laugh at myself. And, to see that it was alright. I just hope that I never have to do a stunt like that again to teach my little boy a lesson…whether it be on purpose or not. And this one, clearly, was not.
So, if you take something from this, remember; Laugh at yourself. Smile when you feel like crying. It might just be what turns your day around. And, if you’re doing zig zags on a gym floor…don’t just put your purse down…take off your boots too.