By Amy McCollom
I remember how my heart jumped in my chest when I was in Junior High band class, and our music director called out the title of the next song to play: “Shenanigans.” I loved that song! I am sure that I could not hum it for you today though; it’s been way too long. I just remember that it was fun to play and it had a lot of percussion parts. I was a percussionist so I got to play a variety of instruments like the snare, bass drum, tenor temp tom trio, kettle drums, triangle crash cymbals, bells, guiro, shakers, wood block, and anything else that helps keep rhythm.
Shenanigans is a fun word to say. It means silly, mischievous, deceitful or trickery, and sort of fits our family pretty well. We are all silly jokesters at heart. Some more than others.
Since the kids have all been home from school, there has been shenanigans going on around here. First, I noticed the kids were sneaking snacks and drinks from our disaster shelf.
“Hey, quit drinking the Apocalypse water! Those granola bars are for the end of the world!”
“We were thirsty. We couldn’t wait for the Apocalypse. We’re thirsty and hungry now.”
One afternoon when I had a headache and was napping in my room, I was awakened by floor-shaking booms! Was it an earthquake?! Elephants?! Thunder from down under?! No, it was the twins and their friend playing Just Dance to “Livin’ La Vida Loca!” Our old house may have stood through both world wars, the invention of indoor plumbing, and even the disco era, but could it survive Nintendo Kinect games? I had my doubts as I felt the floor bounce slightly under my feet. One at a time, kids, one at a time. My house, and head, can’t take it.
And then there is Schnitzel. Schnitzel is a character that my daughter painted onto a small canvas, based on a character of the same name on the cartoon show Chowder. It is actually quite startling when you see it. It’s gray, squared off, hairy, with a weird mouth and huge white eyes. Scary looking. And Rosa thinks it’s funny to hide this painting all over the house. I have found Schnitzel in my bed under the sheet, hanging up in the shower, in my clothes drawer, hanging in my closet, in the microwave, in the refrigerator, in the bathroom towel cabinet, and even on the toilet seat under the lid. It always startles the dickens out of me. Rosa enjoys this immensely.
Children are like annoying co-workers that you let live with you. The slacker, the complainer, the jokester, the bossy one, the slob, the neat freak, the nosey one, the beggar, the bully, the competitor, and the one who steals your lunch. If you are lucky there is maybe one that you get along with most of the time. But to be honest, spending eight hours with them is usually quite enough for the day. Ah, families. Gotta love ‘em.
Well, the situation is what it is. I can choose to be upset, frustrated, afraid, and angry. Or I can choose to just accept things the way they are and roll with it. Even when days are upsetting, frustrating, frightening, and maddening, there are still plenty of things to be thankful for and happy about. Let me share them with you.
Birdsong, a child’s laughter, new tree buds, the first robins of spring, green grass, lavender, clean laundry, windchimes, homemade play doh, kittens, puppy dog breath, extra pillows, fresh air, dancing, toilet paper, bottled water, granola bars, daughters, trees, hot air balloons, hammocks, the happy birthday song, lakes, cake, flutes, disco balls, ink pens, the color red, cable tv, Tylenol, XBox Kinect, sofa covers, prayer, plaid, and even shenanigans. This is just a small list, and I am sure you can make an even bigger list from your own life. Most of all, I wanted to let you know that even though what we may have to endure can drive us crazy, we got this. There are still good and pleasant things to think on, remember, and experience. We can all help each other, even if it is from 6 feet apart. Just remember, a little bit of shenanigans goes a long way.