This I Believe

Jennifer - Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Entered on March 23, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50

This I Believe…

I believe that laughter isn’t the best medicine. It’s the cure.

As I look into the eyes of my 12 month old son, the corners of his mouth turn up just slightly. He can see my lips pursing together as I lean toward his belly. His anticipation is delightful. My buzzing lips make contact with his bare tummy, and a pure giggle wells up from his soul. The sound of that laughter is like hearty, happy waves rippling up on a shorelines of uniquely-shaped, multi-colored pebbles, sinking into all the cracks and crevices, making the edges of every stone smoother with each lap of tidal energy that splashes down. I know my edges are rough. The cracks inside me aren’t easily filled, and they may never be. But as I soak in the effortless happiness of a tummy raspberry, I’m instantly propelled to a state of love and connection… and I believe am whole.

Try explaining that to a six-year-old boy, filled with wonder and amusement as he dangles a single string of spaghetti from his nose, asking his four-year-old brother to eat the loose end, engaging all of his willpower to contain the outburst of glee springing up inside of him. I can’t help but smile as I look around the dinner table and realize that everyone present is completely captivated. A single squeal escapes Spaghetti Man’s lips, and the entourage explodes into laughter. For a moment, no one is thinking about what could be different.

And when the moment passes, when life’s ills again settle in my mind, I embrace the balancing agent opposition is. Introspectively, I recognize that neither life nor I will be cured forever, and I don’t want to be.

Maybe I believe in the power of children to heal adults. Maybe what I really believe is that we’re all broken, fragmented hunks of being jammed into an existence together. And that there’s a bonding agent that transforms us into something that’s “OK,” slapping pieces of us into a decoupage of mortality. And no matter how rippled or imperfect or mismatched it may seem, laughter suddenly cures whatever is wrong with it and turns it into an artful masterpiece. Or maybe what I believe is that no matter how old or sick or tired or hurt my soul seems, carefree, uncomplicated laughter freezes time for a moment, and it cures me. Every time.