When I was 11 years old I went to Yellowstone National Park with my father, and other fathers and sons from our church. My most memorable experience was when the bus driver stopped at the side of the road so we could take a picture of a mother bear and her cub resting a short distance up the hill. Most of us got out of the bus and walked towards them. This was a serious mistake.
When we got too close, she became uncomfortable and charged us. We started running back to the bus, but I had a problem. I was the smallest and slowest, so the momma bear decided to make me an example.
I was running for my life but before reaching the bus I tripped and the mad Yellowstone monster was on top of me, licking her lips and baring her teeth. I knew she was planning to eat me for lunch. While preparing to meet my maker I thought I heard my mother whisper, “Say a prayer.” I only had time to offer a short one so I asked that the bear would be a Christian. After my prayer I carefully opened my eyes and noticed she had her paws folded and I heard her say, “Please bless this food which I am about to eat!”
While it is true that a momma bear chased me while on a this trip and I was the last one to the bus, I obviously made up the ending. Why would I do that, other than to get some laughs?
Because this story is a reminder that humor is an important resiliency skill we can use to strengthen our children. Humor helps to break tension and put life in perspective. Also, when we have humor our children can relax around us and we can all enjoy the special moment.
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