When the seventh grade yearbook staff sent around their annual mock election sheets, I got one nomination for the sense of humor award. I didn’t even make the ballot. I was not a class clown like so many of the usual winners of this award. My one nomination came from a good friend. She told me she nominated me not because I was hilarious but because I laughed more than anyone else she knew.
I believe in laughter’s ability to mend and connect. I believe laughter connects people to each other, mends emotional wounds and connects people back to each other.
It isn’t any wonder, the summer I started dating the man who would become my husband, I chose him because he made me laugh. I had a few other love interests that summer. A very smart man with whom I engaged in deep and emotional conversations and then a friend of my older brother’s who turned out to be far more enjoyable to look at than talk to. So I kept returning to the simple feeling of fun and laughter. The deep and emotional conversations came later. Laughter had been the invitation to his world.
A few years into the marriage, my first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. Late that evening, when I came home from the hospital, my husband made me laugh. For a moment, I put my hand over my mouth to stop the laugh. I felt guilty. It was too soon to laugh. Then I took my hand away from my mouth and relished in the intense emotional mixture I felt in my body as the laughter chemicals mixed with my tired sorrow. This laughter would heal me just as it had already bonded me to my husband and put a few arguments into perspective.
A year and a half later my son was born. His first attempts at communicating with my husband and me truly cemented in my mind that laughter reigned in my house. My son, before he could say any words, made laughing noises to communicate and get attention. Of course, this made me laugh; he was speaking my language.
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