Our home is a lot of fun. When our son was growing up we made sure to have fun together. One of his favorite memories is Mom & Shawn parties. (The Furry Guy worked second shift, so he couldn’t attend.) We threw these occasionally for absolutely no reason at all. The fact that it was Tuesday would do. They consisted of eating a pizza, chips, dip, and soda (didn’t matter whether the pizza was from a pizza place or the freezer) on the floor of the family room while we played board games and watched a movie. Exciting, huh?
As he grew up we continued to do that kind of thing. Seriously. I think the last Mom & Shawn party we had was not too long before he left for Dallas. He would have been almost 21 years old.
Things had goofy names. Burgers and fries will always be boogers and flies. Macaroni and cheese is Marconi cheese. Anything could be chicken lips and frog gizzards. Pancakes still had smiley faces or fun shapes. Even though we have no children in the house, pancakes still have smiley faces. Camping and hiking was something we all enjoyed. Car trips were opportunities to talk and laugh.
Taking the time to spend time just having fun together as a family was important to all of us. We were pretty strict parents when Shawn was young. As he grew up the reigns loosened as he earned more responsibility and, therefore, more freedom. There was always fun, though.
We laugh together a lot. Shawn and I joke that our goal is to get The Furry Guy to laugh with sound. There are three levels to The Furry Guy’s laugh. The first is just silent shaking of the shoulders. The second is a wheezy little sound similar to the one the cartoon character Mugsly used to make. The third (and most prized) is actual sound. Shawn and I always feel we have accomplished something when we get sound from The Furry Guy. Puns, jokes, goofy antics—we have quite an arsenal.
Now that our son lives far away, it’s up to The Furry Guy and me to keep the fun alive in our home. That means taking time to just hang out together. You can’t really schedule a 5-minute fun break. Time together is necessary to build (or preserve) the trust and familiarity necessary to really have fun together.
I think the reason so many marriages today are struggling is that couples don’t take the time to have fun together. Plan a fun night with a funny movie. One of the classics is usually a good choice. Pop some popcorn. Sit close together. Maybe even plan a picnic on the family room floor. It’s okay if it’s just the two of you.
Today, July 4, 2009, The Furry Guy and I celebrate a quarter of a century together. We met on this date in 1984 at the mall in Marion, IN, while waiting for the fireworks to start. Our marriage is strong and healthy. I believe a good deal of the reason that’s still true is that we’ve spent so much time having fun together.
It’s never too late. Have some fun today.