We were baking like the clay around us in the heat of the day, as my husband worked on the basement of our house-in-progress. My daughter sat in the dirt, grabbing fistfuls of dust and making a little pile. Thirst overwhelmed my older children, and it was time to trek up the hill to our water.
But our sweet little 2 year old wouldn’t budge. I tried to pick her up, and she just let her body weight fall, so that she felt like a ton of bricks in my arms. I tried to remind her of the cool water at the top of the hill. She just kept making her little pile of dust. I tried to remind her of her toys under the canopy. She just kept making her little pile of dust.
I started to get frustrated, and as I bent down to gain extra momentum so I could pick her up (P.S. I’m 8 months pregnant), I realized that I was picking up my daughter along with two tiny fistfuls of dirt. She looked at me with a wrinkled up nose, totally frustrated that I’d just ended her special building project of her own.
And then, as I held her on my hip, with one swift gesture, she threw dirt down my shirt. A lot of dirt.
At first I was startled. But then I burst out laughing at her stubbornness. What else could I do? And why wasn’t her stubbornness cute and funny to me seconds prior?
Far too often, we see the humor of things only in retrospect.
Life doesn’t come with a “do over” button. But if it did, I’d revisit a whole lot of moments when I was upset and I’d look for the humor.
I recently came across this quote: “Humor is your best friend, temper is your worst enemy.” And in my life, I’ve found this to be 100% true.
Laughing is just about the last thing I’m inclined to do when my mind is spinning and when I’m feeling anxious.
But there is humor in every situation if we look hard enough. It’s like a treasure hunt – hunt for the humor in every situation.
And if we can manage to find it, it’s a whole lot easier to diffuse our temper and to live in peace at last.