When was the last time your kids heard you laugh uncontrollably? Watched you totally let go and have fun?

If you can’t remember, don’t feel bad. You’re not alone.

If we all pulled back the curtain, we would probably see some pretty worn down parents. We’re running kids around, washing clothes, working jobs, managing homes, paying bills, cutting grass… doing all the stuff we have to do. Then, when the time comes to have a little fun, we’re content to just sit in a chair and watch.

Maybe we watch because we’re tired. Or because that’s what our parents did with us. Or that’s just kind of our personality. Whatever the reason, I want to encourage you to get out of the chair.

Dress up for Halloween.

Draw with your kids on the driveway with sidewalk chalk.

Do cannonballs into the pool.

Dance to Christmas songs in the living room.

Jump waves at the beach.

Build a sandcastle.

Throw the ball.

Sing along to the radio.

Jump in the leaves.

Be the first to tell a joke.

Let your house be the teen hangout.

And please ride the roller coaster.

Imagine a memory box sitting in your kids’ hearts. These are the days of filling that box. Your kids will carry these memories with them for the rest of their lives.

What kind of memories are you putting in your kids’ box?

I know it sounds odd to have to remind ourselves to smile, laugh, and have fun, but the days are full, and they go by so quickly. Just take the reminder and do whatever it takes to remember.

Write “SMILE” on your bathroom mirror with a dry erase marker.

Write it on a piece of masking tape and tape it to your dashboard.

Write it on a piece of paper and put in on your fridge with a magnet.

Whatever it takes to get you out of the chair.

Now go have some fun. Enjoy your kids. Make a memory.

Autumn Ward has been a writer for The reThink Group First Look preschool curriculum for the past 10 years and is the Creative Director for Parent Cue Initiatives. She believes every parent can be a spiritual hero in their child’s life and it’s never too soon to begin sharing God’s story of love with them. Autumn and her husband, Chad, live in Cumming, GA with their three teenage children Joseph, Sarah, and Anna.