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Oh, Just Join In Already

Some things are just cheesy.

I was at a conference recently, and I went to a session where we were first asked to draw our inner monster. (The voice that tells you you suck all the time, and if you don’t have one, then, well. That’s great. I was going to say something snarky but that would be contrary to the spirit of this missive). Next, we went on an inner meditative journey to meet ourselves in 20 years, and see what that older self had to say

Everything about this moment screamed for mockery. The leaders of the session, who were wearing (not without irony) matching gold sequined ensembles. The sincerity. The box of Kleenex. The inner journey. You could live-tweet the heck out of that sucker.

But I didn’t. I drew, and I closed my eyes, and I journeyed. Because really, at some point, why not?

It’s easy to make fun of lots of things. Things that scare us. Things that are unfamiliar. Things that are wearing gold sequins. Teenagers are masters of this self-protective mockery, believing it protects them from looking silly, or uncool.

It doesn’t. And it doesn’t work for us grown-ups, either.

This is the season of cheesy: cheesy Mother’s Day and Father’s Day rituals, cheesy graduation songs, cheesy spring conversations about renewal. You can resist, because you’re too slick to be moved by any of it. Or you could just see where it takes you–remembering, if you must, that nobody really cool is ever playing to the crowd.

You want your kids to get out there and risk looking silly, right? So show them how it’s done.

Everything about this moment screamed for mockery. The leaders of the session, who were wearing (not without irony) matching gold sequined ensembles. The sincerity. The box of Kleenex. The inner journey. You could live-tweet the heck out of that sucker.

But I didn’t. I drew, and I closed my eyes, and I journeyed. Because really, at some point, why not?

It’s easy to make fun of lots of things. Things that scare us. Things that are unfamiliar. Things that are wearing gold sequins. Teenagers are masters of this self-protective mockery, believing it protects them from looking silly, or uncool.

It doesn’t. And it doesn’t work for us grown-ups, either.

This is the season of cheesy: cheesy Mother’s Day and Father’s Day rituals, cheesy graduation songs, cheesy spring conversations about renewal. You can resist, because you’re too slick to be moved by any of it. Or you could just see where it takes you–remembering, if you must, that nobody really cool is ever playing to the crowd.

You want your kids to get out there and risk looking silly, right? So show them how it’s done.

 

 


One Response to “Oh, Just Join In Already”

  1. Love this post KJ! Your words here: “It’s easy to make fun of lots of things. Things that scare us. Things that are unfamiliar. Things that are wearing gold sequins. Teenagers are masters of this self-protective mockery, believing it protects them from looking silly, or uncool….You want your kids to get out there and risk looking silly, right? So show them how it’s done.”
    . . . Indeed, I love goofing off, taking a stand, doing something outside the box, being fun. Kids remember you for this-As a (former) high school English teacher, I would greet my students every day, “Good morning, wonderful English students” and have them say back to me, “Good morning, Mrs. Seigneur”- it was a bit goofy but I was remembered for that. I had other things I’d repeat and tell them, like “You are kind, you are smart, you are important.” It’s the little things, outside the box that people remember. Sure, some students felt it was odd, but it doesn’t matter. I have received cards from former students saying they loved some of my little traditions. I do the same with my kids, little things, and I celebrate when they step out of the box too.

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