Let me set the scene for you. The time was about 7:00 a.m. on a Monday morning and our 3 oldest children were returning to school after the Thanksgiving holidays. Their ages at that time were 13, 11 and 8. They were all 3 sitting in the back seat of our van. You see, I had become very tired of listening to them argue about where they were going to sit in the van and I finally decided that I was going to solve that issue. They were all moved to the back bench seat of the Toyota van for the remainder of the calendar year. Our youngest daughter would ride in the front seat with me and the middle bench would remain unoccupied!
On this particular morning, we were on our way to school and as I looked in my rear view mirror, I saw complete unhappiness on 3 faces. I, being somewhat concerned, asked them what the problem was. They informed me that they had been out of school for 5 days and were not at all thrilled about going back! When my urging for them to cheer up didn't work, I softly began singing, "Bright skies are gonna clear up. Put on a happy face." as we droved down the road. The further we drove, the less softly I sang as I tried to encourage the kids to smile. My attempt at cheering them up wasn't working.
As I turned into the middle school parking lot, still no luck. I did not have any happy campers riding with me that morning! So, I proceeded to roll the windows of the van down and continue singing the song. Only this time, it was just a wee bit louder, well, maybe a lot louder. "Spread sunshine all over the place and put on a happy face!" Needless to say, my 13 year old and 11 year old were trying every way known to man to get me to stop. Everyone would be able to hear me and then when they got out of the van everyone would know that that looney woman was their mom! Nothing could be worse for a middle schooler! When I told them all they had to do was smile, they couldn't get smiles on their faces fast enough!
Oh, by the way...They also couldn't get out of the van fast enough!