Monday, April 8, 2013

The Importance of Being Silly

If there is anything we've taught our daughters that was important, I would say that the art of being silly ranks right up there with all the important life stuff you teach your children. Life is too short to take everything seriously. Goodness knows, there are enough things in life that require your full, somber attention! It is vital to know how to lighten things up a bit,...which leads me to talk about the serious business of silly pictures.

I have always loved taking pictures of my daughters. I think they are the most lovely and fascinating creatures I have had the pleasure to be around. I have loved and adored them from the moment I knew they existed, and I have always loved taking photos of them. Through the years, I have taken more pictures than I could ever account for. Because of my passion for photography, my daughters are experts at modeling for me,...ummm, so to speak.

I'm not sure when my "silly picture" cues started, but I imagine it was when my first born, Chambley, got tired of me taking her picture. It's too stressful to get even one small child to pose "just right" and, as time passed, imagine trying to get three to pose at the same time, looking at the camera, and not fussing with each other! So, I decided that when it came to picking battles, this wasn't one I was going to pick. So, when the girls were little, I would tell them to give me a nice pose and then we HAD to have a silly picture or vice-versa, depending on my mood...and theirs. 

I have years and years of silly pictures that mean much more to me than the "good" ones. It also shows that through all the stages of my girls' lives, they learned not to take themselves too seriously. They always cared about the way they looked, as most girls do, but only to a point. They liked to look nice when the occasion called for it, but they also knew all that hair, make-up, and clothing did not make them who they were. Like I said, silly pictures are important, and they taught good lessons.

A couple of years ago, I first began to realize how well my girls had learned these lessons. They have learned to be confident in who they are and don't let compliments about their physical beauty go to their heads. One day when I complimented Chambley on how lovely she looked for her new husband, she was quick to tell me the best thing about him was that he loved her (and kissed her just as sweetly) when she had no make-up on, her hair was in a mess, and her glasses on - "You know, Mom, the real me." Yes, I knew exactly what she meant. I'm happy to say that my son-in-law has a talent for silly pictures, too. 

My middle daughter, Katie, says that any man who loves her will have to love her "Prince side" - a saying she got from me for a gene we share. She doesn't mean "prince charming," she means Prince - the singer, songwriter, musician. In other words, it's more important for her to be loved and accepted for everything she is - crazy, weird, creative genius and all - than to settle for anything less. She may look like Cinderella on the outside, but she is Willy Wonka on the inside. She's dating a nice, young man now and trying to teach him the art of being silly. So far, she's doing a pretty good job of it. 

My youngest daughter, Cynthia, and I may not always agree on some things (primarily because we're both stubborn), but - I must admit - I came to understand what she likes about the young man she's dating now when I took photos of them the other day. You see, he knows how to do silly pictures...without being prompted. That says a lot. Well, that's not really all there is to it, but it's a big part of it when you understand what it really means. To quote my baby girl, she said, "See, Momma? We're alike. We have the same sense of humor, and we understand each other." Yes, I could see that.

The moral of this post, if there is one? Take silly pictures! Laugh together, love people (and yourself!) for everything that is unique and wonderful about them, and I promise the silly pictures will be the ones you enjoy the most. I know I do.

By the way, we're a nice, normal family when we're behaving appropriately for whatever situation we may be in,...but when it's not a requirement to be"nice and normal," we're silly clear to the bone. ;)

The End


  1. Silly is a necessary part of life! In fact that is in a made-up song I sing to my daughter.

    You already know that I admire and love your family. Blessed, (all of you)!

    1. Thank you, Laura! :-D I'm so glad you're teaching your children the serious business of being silly! ;)