Like a lot of households, my family has been doing our best to balance our differing schedules and responsibilities lately. Even though I work from home, my free/social time has been cut down now that I’ve added classes to my schedule. This means that when I’m with my family altogether, I have to try to get the most fun out of it, right?

The other day I was sitting at our dining room table doing homework with my brother and my mom while we all did our own thing. It’s not too often that we’re all in the same place at the same time, so it was nice just to hang out in company.

Photo by Cris Saur on Unsplash

As we all sat there, it only took one glance between my brother and me when we heard the front door open to know that our dad was home for a long day of work… We were ready for his explosive energy to overflow throughout the house. Instead, everything about the way he came in the door read tired. His feet dragged behind him as if he didn’t want to struggle to get his shoe laces loosened, his lunch bag hung off his slumped shoulders, and he barely lifted his eyes to say a weak “good evening” as he came into view.

We all heard him come in the door, but it was almost as if his workday was so long that it was over yet.

So, what did Nick and I do? We looked at him and shook our heads, saying we wanted a more enthusiastic entrance and he had to do it again. 

We were teasing him, of course, but that was the fun part. After all, it isn’t often we are all gathered at the table together ready to welcome him home, so we wanted the goofy and grand “honey I’m home” kind of welcome. After we told him that, he looked up at my brother and me as if waiting to see if we were kidding—we weren’t—and my mom just smirked slightly before he walked out the door again.

front door
Photo by vaun0815 on Unsplash

When he came in the door the second time, a smile plastered on his face, he said “wow, look at everyone all together! Hello family, it’s so good to see you all! How was your day?” We asked how his day was as he slung an arm around my mom’s shoulders and played out his entrance until Nick and I finally gave him a round of applause of approval; we really just enjoyed laughing at his exertion of feigned excitement.

Sure, we wanted to nag him a little bit. But also, sometimes it’s nice to get a smile out of people in any way you can. Because then he went on to change into comfortable clothes while singing along to his after-work music, off-key the way he always does before returning to dance and hum around the house, also off-key.

For us, we all found a little fun in nagging one another and appreciating our family’s little habits here and there. Though some of these days might feel too long or exhausting, sometimes a good playlist and group of people can be a good pick-me-up. Even if you can’t get together with your people, group chats and video calls are another great way to keep up with people when you need them.

I know that beyond my family, I’ve made use of quite a few group chats and calls to keep the tired days at bay. Regardless of what you do, I hope you’ve got some good ways and good people to tease you into laughing through the long days and humming—off-key or not—through the night.

Feel free to share in the comments the last time someone made you smile or laugh when you didn’t quite feel like it. I look forward to hearing all about it. And if you didn’t answer my super mind-boggling questions last week, take a crack at them here

Otherwise, I’ll see you next week. Stay dry and stay safe this weekend!

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