It’s Hard to Be a Tigger

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A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.Proverbs 17:22

Awhile ago I read a moving article written by Randy Pausch, a professor at Carnegie-Mellon, who is battling terminal cancer. It provoked me in several respects, especially about making the most of the time we have with the ones we love, particularly our children. Mr. Pausch makes a reference to Winnie the Pooh and Friends that hit me rather hard. He says,

I came to an early realization. Each of us must make a decision, best captured in A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh characters. Am I a fun-loving Tigger or a sad-sack Eeyore?

Hmmm…. now the Pooh series has never been one of my favorites, but my children love it, particularly the videos and films. As a result, we are all familiar with their characters. I have never liked Tigger because I have viewed him merely as “irresponsible”. I had never really thought about him as “fun-loving.” But, this article has made me rethink the characters residing in the 100 Acre Wood. And myself.

The boys and I talked about what characters we are most like. We have one boy whose ears often hang as low as Eeyore’s. When tummies are rumbling, you can bet I have a whole houseful of PoohBears. And we have a few Rabbits in our midst on occasion. In fact, when I told my baby brother about the discussion, he implied I was a Rabbit! (I was afraid of that.)

(For fun, check out the lyrics to “How to Be a Tigger.”)

So, I’ve been thinking about my attitude and how it effects my kids. What kind of voice am I using? What kind of words? What memories am I giving them? These are sobering thoughts, indeed. How can I be fun, not just plan fun things?

Over the last couple weeks, we’ve talked about being joyful and about our motivations. So here the conversation continues in a different vein.

Is there a difference between being fun and having fun? Is fun important in the life of your family? Some might say that “fun” is a vain pursuit. Other parents make “fun” more important than responsibility. Can the two co-exist? What do you think?

About Jessica Fisher

I believe you can get great meals on the table -- and still keep that pretty smile on your face.

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  1. Shari says:

    I think C.S. Lewis says it best when he said (not an exact quote here) that we were designed and created for the holiday at the sea, but we settle for sitting in a mud puddle (I picture that mud puddle in my dirty alley). I think we were made for a life more FUN and joy-filled than we realize. And we miss it by our “have-to” victimitis attitudes. I know I do waaaayyy too often. My kids can even have fun cleaning with me if we are singing and competing and smiling at one another. One of the best things a woman told me before I got married was to smile. When there’s a lull, or a potential awkward moment, we don’t have to let life spiral down into woe is me. We can choose to smile and turn it into the opposite tone. Anyhow, the greatest part about it is Jesus is our source of never-ending joy. I just need to tap into it so much more than I do!! He LOVES us and wants us to have it!

  2. Org Junkie says:

    Holy cow girl those are some hard questions so early in the morning 🙂

    Yes I definitely think the two can co-exist. Even doing “responsible” chores can be fun if we go into with the right attitude. I’m probably a good example of that because I do love to have things orderly but I also love to act silly, dance and sing at the top of my lungs and pretty much anything else that embarrasses my kids 🙂 I love being a goof ball but at the same time I’m never late for anything. Did that make any sort of sense?

  3. Zimms Zoo says:

    I think having fun with our families is very important. Those are the best memories that I have from my childhood. Family vacations or something relaxing like that.

    We try to do that in the evenings, playing games, watching amovie together, going to the park in the neighborhood.

  4. Janell says:

    My view is very similar to Shari’s. Our attitudes are the biggest factor in whether we are having fun, building great memories and showing Christ to our children. We can plan for “fun”, but things don’t always turn out as we plan. Does that mean that we can’t turn it into a fun experience or a good memory? It depends on our attitudes.

    Responsibility should come before planned fun, but taking care of those responsibilities can be fun as well.

    This verse has recently been a great reminder for me:
    Psalm 19:14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.

    I am so thankful for my husband because he is so great at helping me with this. He is more of a forget-the-chores and let’s play kind of guy, while I’m focused on “getting things done”. When we work together and balance the two extremes, we all have a good time!
    Thanks for another great challenge!

  5. mamalibby says:

    Oooooh, great topic. I am not particularly “fun”. Compassionate, nurturing, responsible, but not especially fun. I am often known as “Safety Girl” in our house of men (three sons plus my husband) for fretting over things all things related to someone getting hurt, or the possibility of it. I am working on it! My oldest is five and lately I have noticed that he seems too cautious, a bit afraid to try new things or to take risks, at least physically. I fault myself…I am too quick to add a word of caution when perhaps I should just let go and let life happen a little bit more. As I get older, I am working on taking my self a little bit less seriously, to laugh at myself more and to let fun happen more spontaneously. It is more effort to be Fun than I thought it would be. :0)

  6. Katie says:

    zI tend to be like Rabbit too often, but my new goal is to be like Kanga. She’s the best of the bunch in my book! Kind, loving, bakes cookies…my kinda cartoon character.

    I have to be intentional if I want to be like Tigger. Setting myself up for success before events by thinking about the fact that things will NOT go as planned, period. That reminder helps me go with the flow a little better.

    I also try to plan fun into our days. Especially now that it’s summer! I’m not very spontaneous, so if a fun idea pops up, it catches me off guard and I’m not always in the right “mood” so planning fun and the right attitude works for me!

  7. FishMama says:

    Great input, ladies. Thank you!

Thanks so much for participating in this conversation about "a mom's life."

This is a place where moms can be themselves. Remember that each mother's path looks a little different. Please keep your comments respectful and kind. Reasonable minds will disagree in a nice way.

So let's talk about it, using "our big girl words."

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