The twisted joy of watching America's Funniest Home Videos, the new Bobb'e show, and the genius of despair.com brings viewers back time and time again. Is it sharing in the universal language of "suffering caused by stupidity" at someone's expense, is it the calm we get from thanking our lucky stars it was not us caught on tape doing the same thing, or is it just plain fun to enjoy a good laugh now and then that brings us back?
Our family may be a little off the beaten path regarding what we find funny or enjoyable. What I love about some of our family activities is that we have found things that we enjoy together that are purely for the sake of laughing out loud. The boys have always been fascinated with the various cameras that I keep all around the house. They learned early on that a camera can capture moments that might never be repeated. Some of those moments are so outrageous you just have to watch them over and over again. Expand this phenomenon beyond our family and the opportunity for bizarre and the out right hilarious factor multiples tremendously. We could have easily chalked this up to all four of us finding "immature boy humor" enjoyable (sorry Ang). Instead, we have found this little outlet to be much more than a flash in the pan activity to do together. I did not purposefully begin analyzing some of our fun activities..... it just happened. What I have learned by watching us (the family) as we watch any of these funny shows or websites has been extremely valuable. By watching how we all react and even interact with these shows or sites has taught us a lot about how to help pull one of us out of a bad mood, what areas cause stress for one and not the others, what fears Sam has that Luke doesn't even notice, and what are potential hot points we should keep an eye on with both boys that could be dangerous situations for them in the future (certain incidences with skateboards and bikes that always come up on these shows allow for teachable moments prior to us visiting the ER).
We've started DVRing (recording) our "funny shows" and we talk about what happens. There are a few things on despair.com that I have found very helpful to teach Sam about sarcasm and used with Luke to help him understand our something that is funny can also really hurt someone's feelings. There are so many teachable moments you can pull from when stupidity is allowed to reign supreme for a little bit. Sometimes, we will pause a scenario and ask the boys what do you think is going to happen? What would you do if a friend did this? Why do you think this is a bad decision? What would be the right thing to do right now? ....and of course there is always the #1 phrase that I repeat over and over again..."If you even think about doing that to Dad you better reconsider it or you better be able to outrun me"....and of course everyone laughs and laughs and laughs. (side note: I do realize they are conspiring against me)
We have so many reasons to look at the world in a negative light, issues to complain about, challenges to overcome....sometimes you need a good laugh and the opportunity to share lots of hugs. The teachable moments are just the icing and learning to not take ourselves so seriously is a lesson I want my boys to learn early on. Enjoy the days you have been given and remember the blessings that surround you daily.