Friday, January 4, 2013

Secret Spilled

It is hard to tell over the internet that I like to laugh.  You might know me in real life and still not know my secret.  However, if you really know me, you will know that I have a loud and easy laugh.  The kind of laugh that gets me shushed or makes milk come out of my nose or hurts my sides.  The kind of laugh that causes people to turn around and see who I am.  This side of me is most obvious when days have been hard and it is time to be with those I trust and love and let off some steam.  This process comes naturally with my family.  It is a ritual of sorts.

When we were growing up and had family meals, we would often spend the meal laughing.  My father would sit at the head of the table with a small grin and occasionally shake his head.  My mother and I have a very similar funny bone and we would have trouble eating anything because we were so busy laughing.  My brother always had a way of getting mom laughing.  When I was a child, I was jealous of his ability.

The truth is my brother is a natural comedian and it is fun to watch his children learn from him and develop their own timing and brand of comedy.  I was with my brother's family last weekend and was enjoying my niece who is in the 2nd grade.  We were looking at books and for some reason I told my niece that I think her dad is very funny.  She asked, "How long have you thought that?"
I said, "Most of my life."
She replied with great animation, "It is sad to think about someone living their whole life with such delusions."
(I could not believe she came out with that line and her timing was perfect!)  
My reply was, "It is obvious that you are funny, too!"
As if she was relieved she said, "Well then, you aren't completely delusional!"  I about lost it...
My niece is on the left. 

In my family, these jokes can go by with very little fan fair..we giggle or smile and then the next subject is brought up and off we go in that direction.  The child is funny, we know that, we love it, we are used to it, next story.  The truth is, we shouldn't take all of this for granted.

A laugh on a hard day can change everything.  It can change the mood of a room or a life, offer hope, insight and wisdom.  Humor can change our body chemistry from "Fight or Flight" to higher order thinking in the blink of an eye.   We need to laugh.  We need to relax.  We need to enjoy life.

So, today...I celebrate those who make us laugh.  Won't you join me in looking for the funny moments in life?