8:30 am, already 79 degrees out, sun-screened up and juice box ready, flip-flops floppin, as my son used to say, we’re trekking to the pool. As our adventure unfolds, our first encounter is with a centipede, whose presence causes us to engage in a lengthy discussion about how caterpillars (who must be the same as the centipede in the mind of a 3-year-old) evolve into whatever they consciously desire to be, beautiful butterflies, with circles, squares, or triangles on them, whatever shapes they yearn for. Next comes Katie Scarlett, the affable Labrador who belongs to one of our “wave to” neighbors. The introductions, ensuing licks, and petting brought smiles to all. Continuing on and about halfway there, we sight a magnificent web, inhabited by a wolf spider, who’s created a bridge like seam in the middle of the web, that’s foreign to anything I’ve ever seen. We ponder, discuss, and take a picture of that and then the child who insisted we should walk, is tired of walking. But never too tired to stoop and pick wild flowers, she clenched them tightly in her fist and presented them to me to smell. “Aren’t they beautiful Mimi?” “Yes they are !” I replied. “I really like this beautiful day,” she said. I really like this beautiful day too,” I responded. “But do you know what I like most about this day,” I add. “What Mimi?” “That I’m with you.” “I like that I’m with you too Mimi. ”
And so began my day, enlivened and blessed by a 3 1/2-year-old. My personal superhero, with the ability to transport me to that state of buoyancy (sans alcohol) required to laugh with abandon. That state would also be the one where my dormant ab muscles were reprimanding me to hightail my summer-time slothful core back to regular Pilates and yoga exercise. My adorable, relentless, granddaughter reminds me that play is important, and that play, along with the laughter it brings, is an energy booster that I could really use a lot more of.
“Schoolgirl Me” was resurrected again as I followed her lead and imagined and reenacted situations that begat extreme belly laughs from both of us. Our contests to see who could make the other laugh first were medicinal and addictive. We kept repeating them to the point we were both just pretending to laugh because it felt so good. So good to be with one you love, one who can make you laugh at yourself.
“Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine. ” Lord Byron (1788 – 1824)
Cardiologists have actually studied the relationship of laughter to people with heart disease and found a correlation that should send us all on regular treks to the comedy club. It is there that we’ll see ourselves after all. As fallible humans, we seek reflections of ourselves in mirrors everywhere.
“You don’t stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing” Michael Pritchard
Afternoon arrives, and the me that can’t watch the news, because it propels me into high-stress rant mode, conducive to nothing desirable to anyone, anywhere , especially not to my husband, who counts on me to mellow yellow (Donovan style) the world for him, is lying on the living room floor reeling in merriment. I realize that this is where I need to be more often. Right here, laughing with abandon, surrounded by realities all too assailing, but protected and harbored by the power of a 3 and 1/2-year-old to make my world a sun- shiny nook, to remind me of the need for a sweet respite, with a sweet angel, whose presence advises me of the way life is meant to be lived, with the intent for good, for sure, but with more “who cares if I laugh so hard I wet my pants” spontaneity and less “how will this look to others” restriction.
“Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can: all of them make me laugh. ” W. H. Auden 91907-1973)
Laughter- it’s what’s for dinner. I’ve been writing for a while now and forgot to cook.
Peace, Love, and Laughter