Saturday, April 30, 2011

Laughter and Love

One of my favorite things about my Mom is the way she can completely lose it when she laughs. From the time I was little, one of my favorite sights and sounds has been her laughing. She sometimes gets going so hard that she'll completely lose control and laugh so much, getting tears in her eyes. Watching my Mom laugh like this always brings me joy. To see her be so caught up in whatever it is that tickles her at the moment is a beautiful thing.

When I was young, I remember losing it most with my friends Cheryl and Maureen. Later my friend Carolyn and I would get each other going so we'd be gasping for breath. But of course, in adulthood, my husband and my children are the ones most privy to seeing me laugh with total abandon.

Last August, our nerves were frayed as we prepared to see Sydney off to college. On her last night at home, things got a little silly and before I knew it, my daughter Emma and I were laughing so hard over a couple little plants that we said were going to take Sydney's place. It was surely one of those "You had to be there" moments but we laughed so hard that we cried. We have pictures to prove it.

I'm often the one making a fool out of herself such as when I told Emma on Easter morning that before we changed out of our Easter dresses, we should go outside and "frolic". I told her we had dresses that needed to twirl outside in the spring air. She gave me one of her usual "Mom, you're crazy" looks and I had to practically pull her out of the house with my camera in hand but I'm so glad I did. She got the camera in its paparazzi mode and by the time I turned the camera on her, we were both laughing....again. Sydney, Eric, and Paul all play the clown too at times. There is never a shortage of laughter in this house of ours. For that I am truly grateful. We are blessed.

Tonight we were all being lazy but I wanted to make good on my suggestion to Paul that we could play a board game together. So out came the new game he'd gotten recently that we had not yet played. The game had us strap plastic headbands on our heads with a picture card perched on top. The game was a version of 20 Questions. We all looked ridiculous to begin with but when Eric and the kids saw that I had a picture of a flying bat on my head, knowing my fear of the things, they all started laughing. As I started asking questions, unaware as to what was on my head, they continued to laugh remembering with irony my incidents with bats flying above my head inside the family camp, and before long I was so frustrated in trying to figure out the card that I started laughing so hard I could no longer speak. Another round of the game brought more laughs. What had at first been an obligation to fulfill a promise to Paul became a highlight of our day together.

I fell in love with my husband after I realized that he not only made me laugh but that I had the power to make him laugh too. Our years together have been filled to the brim with laughter. He often says that I laugh more heartily now than I used to. He may be right. I think I've realized more lately that life is too short to keep a chuckle inside. To laugh heartily is definitely more fun!

I am so grateful that I grew up with a Mom who could laugh so freely. She gave me a most treasured gift and showed me its powerful benefits. If I can continue to raise my children and surround them with laughter, I know I will not possibly steer them wrong.

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