"Argh... a uniform! For the next five years. This is totally unfair."
My seventh grade daughter was talking with friends about the announcement that had been made at school that day. There was to be a new school uniform policy with, horror of all horrors, beige uniforms. I heard about it at school, and then on the ride home, and then at home for about an hour. She was up in arms... and I expect it will be an interesting school day.
Because.... it was all an elaborate April Fools Day joke being played on the students by the teachers and staff. I admire their courage and creativity. And I especially appreciate that it has given the students a sense of shared purpose... and later, hopefully, a sense of humor:>)
We haven't done a lot of April Fools Day jokes in my family... but that has made the times we do all that much more successful. For example, one year my daughter and I made a "Just Married" sign and attached it, along with cans hanging from string, off the back of my husband's car. It took him three blocks, and a bunch of honks from other cars, to figure out what the sound was.
I am glad one day a year we have a celebration of humor. It is something we need more of in our world, something that unites us. We share with everyone around the world the desire for a good laugh and silliness. As well, humor can heal us of our need to take ourselves and everything around us too seriously- to focus on the tree and miss the forest.
A very good case of this happened last year when my daughter was at a residential child anxiety center healing from her OCD symptoms. Her roommate, who had a fear of contamination, had just the week before gotten GAK Putty stuck in her hair. It took one of the Resident Assistants (RA) hours, lots of yelling and crying, and the odd use of Peanut Butter, to get it out. To say it was traumatic for the child and the RA would be putting it lightly.
Flash forward a week... the 1st of April, and the same RA is on duty. My daughter and her roommate come up with the plan of recreating the scene by using a big glob of hair conditioner. You have to realize that even talking about putting something like this in her hair would raise extreme levels of anxiety in this child, and yet humor allowed her to overcome this fear and torment the RA with this trick. I am sure it is still being talked about at the center. I know my daughter and her friend were proud of their accomplishment. And the roommate's mom and I still talk about how proud we were of the girls for having the courage to play the trick.
Middle School is hard. Being on the cusp of adulthood it is easy for kids to take themselves really seriously. I am so very glad, today, that with the humor of an April Fool's Day trick well played the students will have a brief respite from themselves and get to just be silly and laugh.
I hope your April Fool's Day is also filled with laughter.
p.s. I always love to hear about good April Fool's Day jokes... so leave yours in the comments below. Thanks.
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