I have recently incorporated a new daily goal into my life. It's a simple enough goal, attained without much effort, but it gives me immense satisfaction and I look forward to its fruition every day. What is this goal? To make my tween boy giggle.
It is a wonderfully fantastic game. As we talk, I watch closely for his mouth to begin twitching. This flicker of encouragement is all I need; I know I'm on the right track. Not long till I get a "Mo-om" as he desperately tries to turn that smile upside down. But eventually he loses control and a giggle breaks forth. Sometimes (these are the best) the giggle is silent, heard only in his throat as he bends over, racked in giggliness.
As I mentioned, it isn't a difficult thing to do. Sometimes all it takes is a reference to bodily functions. Other times a well placed raised eyebrow does the trick, especially when his younger siblings innocently say something that could be construed wrong. There are days a silly song is what is needed, nothing like mixed up lyrics to make a boy giggle. Other days I pull out the big guns, trying to work words like "duty" or even "Uranus" into our conversation. Is there a tween alive that can resist giggling when asked, "What did you learn about Uranus today?"
My husband has picked up on the fun and started participating. He'll make a comment and we both turn to watch its effect on our 11 year old son. As he giggles, we lock eyes and smile. I suppose common goals are a healthy thing in relationships.
I really can't help myself, I thoroughly and completely enjoy watching my tween try not to laugh. I love to hear that giggle erupt unwillingly. I often ponder why such a little thing brings me so much pleasure. Why afterwards I feel a little lighter, a little happier. Maybe I like to feel connected to my son as he begins his plunge into teenagehood. Maybe I need an excuse to be silly every day. Maybe there is no real rhyme or reason. I don't think I really need to know the reason why as long as I can enjoy it why it lasts. I dread the day that giggle is replaced with eye rolls, sighs, or vacant stare. Until then, I'll hold to my daily goal.