(11) Thirty Days of Grateful Praise: Shared Laughter

This is how I sometimes look in the morning before makeup and coffee. Minus the hat.

Benjamin drove me to the post office this morning, and while we were sitting in the parking lot, I suddenly realized that I hadn’t looked in the mirror before I left the house.  So I had no idea if I had egg smeared on my face, mascara ringing my eyes, lipstick on my teeth or something else out of place. So I asked him, “Hey, Benjamin…is my face askew?”

He looked startled and said, “WHAT??” I realized what I’d said, and we broke up laughing.  We both pictured one of those Picasso paintings where one eye is where it’s supposed to be but the other is down where the nose should be and the nose is where the ear should be, while the other ear is only vaguely ear-like.  We imagined my face like that which made us laugh even harder.  Then after we got home, we were in the kitchen when this fly that’s been bedeviling us for days landed on the edge of the counter.  I said, “Mister Fly, your days are numbered!”  And I got the swatter and whacked that fly as hard as I could.  Post whack, we peered at the edge where the fly had been. There was no sign of him, but a closer inspection revealed the unmistakable evidence (fly guts and a little whiskery leg, if you must know) of a direct hit. But we could not find the…umm, rest of the fly.  Anywhere. We looked high and low—in the stove burners, in our morning coffee cups, on the floor, and in the sink.  It’s always nice to know where a big, squishy dead fly fell, but seems particularly important in the kitchen (especially if you have, say, cookie dough nearby with chocolate chips and raisins shaped very much like flies,heh heh).  Alas, no fly.  So I got the fly swatter and we started re-enacting, in slow motion, the killing of the fly with Benjamin using his knowledge of physics to determine what arc that the dead fly’s body might have taken.  It was then that we fully grasped the ludicrousness of the situation and we cracked up again.  As we laughed, I felt one of those little rushes of love that mamas are prone to with their children, and I hugged him.

Afterwards, I realized how much those little everyday, ordinary moments of shared laughter bring you closer to those you love.  For the most part, you’ll later forget the details, but the impact and cumulative power of those moments is far less fleeting.  Warm shared laughter, I think, just strengthens the already strong ties that bind you to the ones you love.

I think I’m particularly mindful of how profound these moments are for us because it hasn’t been long since Benjamin and I were not doing much of anything together but talking and crying. Things were very difficult and intense in the months after Benjamin got out of the hospital.  His breakdown was devastating—both to him and to those who loved him and helping him towards the light was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.  So I savor our easy laughter, our gentle teasing.  They are sweet, blessed moments of grace, and I am profoundly grateful for them.


10 Responses to “(11) Thirty Days of Grateful Praise: Shared Laughter”

  1. Kay G. Says:

    Sweet, blessed moments of grace…very grateful for them too. Beautiful post.

  2. Bikbik & Roro Says:

    Yes! Sharing pure joy and mirth with others, especially with our loved ones, truly is a wonderful blessing. Laughter itself is already a blessing — whenever I become vaguely conscious of it in the middle of a laughing fit, I am so thankful that we have such times amidst life’s challenges.

  3. Plowing Through Life (Martha) Says:

    Aw, such a sweet post, Beth! I love the part where you hugged him. I know that feeling very well; those rushes of love. Laughter is the most wonderful thing. I believe that we all need a daily dose – or two or three – of it to keep us happy.

  4. birdsandbenjamin Says:

    It is so hard to understand a contradiction, like I am, like any human is. And to appreciate that is one of the sweetest things ever.

  5. betsyfromtennessee Says:

    Oh what a neat post. Laughter and happiness is so important… So glad that Benjamin is feeling so good –which makes you feel good too… (We Mama’s live our kids’ moods/situations, don’t we????)

    I love laughing —and just being SILLY…. So much fun….

    Right now, I feel like Dancing in the Rain –since we have had 4 inches of nice, gentle rain —and we’re lovin’ it!!!!

  6. Sharon Says:

    Ahh…laughter. Can’t imagine life without it. Hubs and I have this dinner ritual we go through and one of the questions we ask each other is “what made you laugh today?” Then we get to laugh together again – TWICE!!

  7. Darla Says:

    This was so beautifully written and shared, Beth. Your writing feels so very ‘personal’ in its honesty and depth, I’m always touched … as if you were writing just to me, or, as if we were sitting on the porch, drinking tea from china cups, and sharing the gift of friendship. And, yes, the “cumulative power” of those moments is amazing. Shared laughter, even in dire times, maybe especially in dire times as you mentioned with your precious Benjamin, is priceless; it allowed my brothers and I and mom to be with dad in hospice continually his last twelve days … lots of laughter, lots of tears, and we came through it.

  8. Bonnie Jacobs Says:

    Laughter is so important. I immediately thought of Isaac in the Bible. You may wonder why, unless you know that the name Isaac means “laughter.” I have a book by Frederick Beuchner called Son of Laughter (1993), which is about Isaac’s son Jacob. Preachers seem to always point out that Sarah laughed when she overheard the visitors say she would have a son the following year (Genesis 18:12). saying she didn’t have faith. But nobody mentioned that Abraham actually fell on the ground laughing (Genesis 17:17) when he was told the same thing a chapter earlier. It was then, to Abraham, that God said (Genesis 17:19), “Sarah shall bear you a son, and you shall name him Isaac.” Name him after YOUR laughter, Abraham. Sarah laughed to herself for joy (Genesis 18:12), saying, “After I have grown old, and my husband is old, shall I have pleasure?” Oh, how she wanted that baby! That priceless child that Sarah would love and hug.

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