Peeking at Heaven

Late yesterday morning the boys and I were getting ready to head out to do some errands, and I asked them to brush their teeth and get dressed. Sam, my 11-year-old, came into the kitchen a few minutes later declaring himself “ready to go”.  I immediately noticed he was wearing his favorite, very worn out pair of sweatpants, and said “You need to wear something without holes in the knees.” He left, returning a couple of minutes later wearing another pair of sweatpants that clearly needed to be in the laundry.  Slightly exasperated, I asked him to please find something that was also clean, to which he replied “Why do we have to get so dressed up?!”  I paused, open-mouthed for a moment, as the absurdity of his question hit me, and then started laughing so hard I could barely speak. “Wearing clean clothes without holes does not constitute ‘dressing up’!” I finally choked out, but I’m not sure he heard me because by then, he was laughing too.

Sharing a genuine, full-belly laugh together felt really good, and I realized I couldn’t remember the last time we’d done that.  Given my dual role as both mom and teacher, I tend to be the parent who focuses more on getting things done, making sure everyone gets to the right place at the right time.  (My husband, who is genuinely funny, tends to be the more light-hearted one.)  But yesterday reminded me how nice it is to lighten up sometimes, to just shift my perspective and see something other than the next thing on the “to do” list.

We were still giggling by the time we pulled out of the driveway in our “dressed up” clothes, and felt very close to each other the rest of the day.  So now, instead of doing laundry tomorrow, I’m thinking dance party in the living room!

“While laughing with your child
you’ll take a peek at heaven.”
~  Judy Ford

About Lori Dunlap

Lori Dunlap worked for almost twenty years in the corporate world, first as a management consultant to Fortune 500 companies, and then at a large research university as a program director and adjunct faculty member. In addition to homeschooling her two sons, she writes regularly about education and parenting issues. You can read her blog at, or connect with her on Facebook:

Posted on September 16, 2012, in Mindful Parenting, Parenting. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Combining humor with authority isn't easy, but is a positive good.


  2. So true! But it sure is wonderful when it happens.


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