Up On The Tightrope Wire

“A well-developed sense of humor is the pole that adds balance to your steps as you walk the tightrope of life”  –William Arthur Ward

I may have lost it.  My sense of humor that is.  Do you know the guards at Buckingham Palace.  The ones who stand guard like concrete statues.The ones  you cannot get to flinch, to smile, to giggle, to break their poker face icey stares. That is me.  If this mothering gig doesn’t work out I have a great chance of signing on at Buckingham Palace as the first female guard.  You cannot break this stone-face stare.

I stand guard at the threshold of my home.  These teenagers and occassionally our adult child have to pass through my icey stare and answer all the questions.  How was this?  How was that?  Fun right.  And I don’t blink.  This job of mine has such dire consequences, if I stumble and fall,  they ALL fall down.

Or so I believe.  What if the first thing they see is a smile? Will they reflect joy.  What if the first thing they are met with is a warm embrace.  Will they reflect compassion. What if I warmly insert  humor in my third degree line of questioning.

I am bone-tired of standing like a soldier, guarding my chicks like a stoic mother-hen.  Wait can a hen be stoic.  What if a grade slips, or a curfew isn’t met, or an errand isn’t completed on time.  Or sunscreen isn’t worn, or a pill isn’t taken, or youth-group is missed to go support a friends soccer match.  What if.  What is the worst thing that can happen.

“A cheerful disposition is good for your health; gloom and doom leave you bone-tired.”- Proverbs 17:22

I need to cheer-up this disposition of mine.  I need a spirit of cheerfulness and light-heartedness.  Pronto.

To remind myself that I had not lost my sense of humor I went and found a picture  of myself smiling.  Gosh it is so old. It may have been taken before Mayberry went into re-reuns.

I am going to find a recent one of me laughing so I know there is potential there.

This tightrope act.  This thing we call balance.  It is just plain hard.  When to speak and when to listen.  When to reprimand, when to remain silent.  When to  speak words of praise, encouragement, discipline,challenge,love, hope and pride.  When to rein in.  When to loose the grip, the grasp on these children we love so, and when to tighten and cinch in the boundaries.

When to press in on standards and conformity, and when to let loose  to allow and even encourage creativity and individuality to flow freely.

I love what they are becoming and who they are becoming.  In Christ.

But as it says in the Proverbs, “gloom and doom leave you bone-tired.”  It is time for a season of laughter.  Of joy.  Of smiling and letting little things just lie.

I need humor to walk this tightrope of life.  I may stumble and I may fall.  I may slip up and fail.  No, I will stumble, I will fall, I will fail, but I want to go down with a smile on my face.  I want my children to see joy and laughter in my contenance.

I want them to experience Grace when they are in my presence.  I want it to wear a smile.

And I don’t want to move to London this close to Mother’s Day.