Karate Uniforms and Retainers

Marisa - Davis, California
Entered on February 11, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

Laughter, it comes in many forms. It might be that funny knock-knock joke your dad told you, that story your friend described, a You Tube video, or even just a goofy grin on someone’s face. It might even be a mechanism used to protect you from harm. But no matter the reason laughter is something everyone needs, and something I truly believe in.

When my parents divorced five and a half years ago, I thought the end of the world was coming. I stocked up on my canned goods and headed for the basement. Teady bear in hand I geared up for the bumpy road ahead of me, little did I know this nuclear war, the apocalypse, wasn’t going to be so bad. Sure, every divorce has its ugly side, but with parents who focused all their efforts to make things a little easier for me and a best friend to share everything with, I survived the war, I even had food left over.

After the bomb dropped, I was shuffled between houses, always sure never to leave a karate uniform or retainer at one, while it was desperately needed at the other. This routine got easier over time; I even came to enjoy it. Each house had different rules, at dads I could stay up late and watch old movies and eat on the floor, while at moms house we could paint nails and catch up on gossip. I think I tried painting my fathers nails once and you know what? French tip really isn’t his style.

Sometimes it was harder, seeing people walking around with both parents laughing and talking, but I can bet that they didn’t have inside jokes with their parents, or special names for food no one could remember. My relationships with my mom and dad are they best they ever could be. I am able to laugh with them and make jokes, sometimes at their expense, but never meaning any harm. Through laughter it seemed that we were able to talk about touchy subjects, the do’s and don’ts of growing up. You know those life lessons everyone tends to get? Well mine were done with a joke and a laugh, which made those awkward topics much easier to get through.

My dad once told me that change is a constant, and with the array of change in my life I have come to accept it. I’ve also realized that everything is a little easier with laughter. When changes bombard my life I was faced with two choices. Either enter that bomb shelter, lock the door, throw away the keys and never leave. Or, face the reality and accept it. I chose the last one, and I chose to laugh.