A Laugh, Shared


Let me tell you a story.

We’re stopped at a red light, one mile from home. It’s Monday, and you’re both in the backseat rehashing the happenings of a day in the life of a kindergartner and first-grader.

A black Chevy HHR pulls up next to us. I’m staring it and smirking while thinking to myself that the HHR looks like a car that was drawn up by the world’s worst Pictionary player, when I notice that someone had used their finger to write something in the thin layer of dust that clung to the driver’s side door.

“POOP” it says, in all capital letters.

Out of my mouth comes an audible “What the hell?”

I snap my head forward, hoping that my gawking had not inspired either of you to try and and search for what had me cursing and staring intently out my passenger-side window. That’s when I hear a gasp come from the back seat, followed by a what seems like an involuntary giggle. I rest my forehead against the steering wheel while the giggle morphs into the kind of laughter that threatens a child’s ability to catch a breath.

Busted… I thought to myself.

I begin to laugh as well, and soon, we’ve made it home, and we’ve all laughed ourselves so weak that we can’t even step out of the car and into the driveway.

There isn’t much in the world I enjoy more than the sound of your laughter. It can turn an absurd moment in traffic into one of my most cherished memories. I hope you never lose that desire to react to the things you don’t expect, or can’t reconcile, with a hearty laugh.

A sense of humor is a precious gift. I cannot tell you how many times your mother’s laugh has saved me from moments of despair, self-pity, frustration, or self-important seriousness- waking me up to the joy and levity of every day scenarios. I’ve always tried to do the same for her, and we both try and do the same thing for you. Those times when we can’t keep from smiling when you’ve scraped your knee and you howl through tears that you’ll “need a wheelchair forever,” or when you angrily decide that finishing your vegetables is grounds for us to be “locked in a dungeon,” aren’t meant to offend you. Instead, we want to show you that the untamed and passionate pronouncements that come from temporary pains can be swallowed whole by joy.

My hope is that we’ll all continue to laugh together, no matter how serious or strange the scenario may be.




  1. Laughter is infectious and addicting. If I hear my kids or my grandson laugh, there aren’t many lengths I won’t go to in order to make them laugh again.

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