“I have a dream that SOMEDAY, I will be able to stand at the stove and fix dinner without little hands pulling my pants down around my knees …..”
“I have a dream that SOMEDAY, I will be able to go to the bathroom, BY MYSELF, without someone banging on the door crying “Mommy, Mommy!”…..”
“I have a dream that SOMEDAY, it will be quiet when I call someone on the phone and crying will not erupt as soon as the phone is answered….”
“I have a dream that SOMEDAY, cleaning up after a meal will not include scraping food off the floor, chairs, and nearby walls….”
I remember clearly the afternoon 25 years ago that a dozen of us moms were waiting to collect our children after T-Ball. We were talking about fixing supper – what we had planned to cook, etc. We were sharing the fact that some of us had something in the crock pot, some had meat thawing on the counter, and some did not have a clue yet what they would serve for supper within the next hour or so.
It was at this point that Sue Bartlett spontaneously broke into her “I have a dream….” speech. It was in no way disrespectful of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s amazing speech. Sue took the general outline and cadence of the famous sermon and started saying the words above in a loud, commanding voice.
We started laughing and couldn’t stop! Some of us laughed so hard we doubled over. It was one of those rare moments when humor fits the situation perfectly and all of us connected with Sue. We were living those same situations and yet we often didn’t see them as funny.
Following that afternoon, when one of those “dream” situations occurred – as they often did – I had a totally new perspective. I found myself smiling, remembering Sue’s rendition as my toddler banged on the bathroom door crying. Sometimes I would start to preach my own dream speech to my children as they hung on my legs crying. I’m sure they thought I had lost it (as they often did) but it lightened the mood and certainly changed my attitude from frustration to irony.
Proverbs 17:22 (NLT)
22 A cheerful heart is good medicine,
but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.
Just as this verse from the Book of Wisdom says, seeing the humor in a situation will help us face it in a more positive light. Being the mother of small children is challenging and takes emotional, physical, and intellectual strength. When we find ourselves drained of strength – look for humor – it lightens the load! Next time you see or hear something funny with your child, write it down – you will be encouraged. Then, share it with us so we can laugh with you!