Laughable memories and medicine
Teeth brushed, PJs on, scriptures read, bathroom visited, prayers said … and yet all I hear are games. The “hold your breath because the carpet is water” kind of games; the “how fast can you run and touch the wall?” games; the rowdy “rock-paper-scissors, not it!” games. Oh, and laughter. Lots of laughter. It’s way past bedtime, and I’m going to pay for this tomorrow morning when the kiddos crawl out cranky … and yet I just let it go on … for quite a while … until I say (with exasperation), “Is this what, ‘time for bed’ looks like?”
The answer? “Mom, we had to get our memories. Our memories!” he says, with emphasis and in a voice that sounds a touch younger than he really is. His brown round eyes shine pure, as he stands in pirate underpants … and melts me. They had to get their memories. Like, if they didn’t get them right then and there, they’d miss the chance.
Isn’t that so, though? You have to go get ‘em! It doesn’t take dramatic bucket lists or the grand splendor of a dreamy vacation – memories can come in the every night ritual of bedtime, and the everyday details within motherhood … And what better way to get those memories then through childlike, energetic and laughing eyes!?
Did you know that on average, children laugh 400 times a day, while adults laugh only about 15 times?! Studies show that humor reduces stress, fear, anger and embarrassment. It also contains spectacular healing powers. Laughter actually lowers blood pressure, heart rate and increases respiration. Not to mention, humor helps us keep perspective and make happy memories.
The Bible tells us, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine” (Proverbs 17:22).
One of my resolutions this year is to laugh more. To laugh when I want to cry and to laugh until I cry … both would be great. See, I don’t think of myself as a natural laugher. I adore laughter – especially the deep hearty kind that blurts out from the bottom of the belly and bellows. I love when laughter ricochets off walls and right into hearts. My laughter doesn’t come out quite like that. Mine shakes in my shoulders silently. My laughter usually lacks sound – maybe it lacks depth too. I probably need to let it permeate further.
Just thinking about my silent shakes makes me giggle through my nose a bit … and I guess that’s what I’m aiming for, a little giggle through the nose that grows. I’m aiming for the kind of humor that heals hearts and perspective; that lightens loads and unites families.
While my dad has been ill, our emotions have been extreme and our minds and bodies have become exhausted … and yet there have been brief moments of laughter. Humor has helped us survive the hurt. Mom and I will simply look at each other and start to giggle – it feels good. It’s not like we’re rolling on the floor, but every now and then a situation will tickle us in just the right way. I think those are tender mercy moments, designed to encourage deep breaths, eternal sight and sincere smiles for our souls. They are memories I’ll hold to, and memories I’ll make more of.
May your memories be filled with laughter too!
Now, go get ‘em!
Your turn: Will you please share what helps you laugh in the hard times? This is an area I am consciously working on – and I will appreciate any tips and tricks you can share with me!!! Thank you in advance!