Sometimes, I Forget to Laugh

July 24, 2012

It’s not unusual for me to grab a mish-mash of stuff on my way to the car.  Things that could have, should have been done before leaving home but are, instead, completed on the run.

As I hustled the kids out the door, cold hit my face; it was cooler than I expected this morning.  I dashed back inside to get an extra jacket for my son.  Socks, keys, bag, iPhone, drink bottle, shoes, coffee in a takeaway mug, oh, and a snack — check.

“Does everyone have a jumper? Drink bottle? Lunch box? Bag?”

My arms were full as I fumbled with the keys to lock the door behind me.

School drop off zone. Kids, cars: everywhere. Kisses. “Have a great day!” Car doors slam.

Then, it was just son and I.  He had no shoes on. Lonely socks sat on the passenger seat with the last minute jumper, and a warm hat. I could see the small shoes on the floor of the car.

No time now; next stop job.

I pulled the hand break but kept the car running.  I wanted to charge my iPhone for a few moments longer.  I turned in my seat to unstrap son.

“Feet up!” I instructed.

Socks on.

Velcro rip.

Shoes on.

“It’s quite cold outside son, so you’ll need this jumper,” I announced.

The sleeves of the undershirt rolled up as his arms slid through the jumper.

I stifled his complaint in anticipation, before it even began.

“I know. Don’t worry. I’ll fix it.”

Robot.

I slipped my fingers under the jumper sleeve, searching for the phantom under-sleeve. Searching.

His body jiggled with my efforts.

I opened my mouth to say something, and caught the words before breath and sound formed.  I paused and caught his eye for the first time this day.

“What am I going to say?” There was humour in my voice.

I smiled now.

A short giggle escaped his lips. He got it.

“Son, you’re getting sooooooo BIG,” he said, mimicking the words I often mutter — sometimes unknowingly; sometimes to myself — as I help him dress.

I laughed now.

I felt the gurgle climb my throat.

Oh, the sound is a wonderful thing!

Natural, spontaneous laughter.

It took me by surprise.

His giggles turned into continuous bounces.

I let my laughter respond to his.

I can’t decipher which sound is coming from who. One sound. One moment.

I’m good at being a robot.

Things to do, places to go, people to see.

Problems to fix, kids to feed, coffee to drink.

Sometimes, I forget to laugh.

And yet, if I stop, just for a short moment — and slice through a robot responses — something magical can happen.

If I halt the sequence, and be present — right then and there — joy awaits.

Sometimes, I forget to laugh.

I’m glad laughter hasn’t forgotten me.

sometimes i forget to laugh

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Fee @ Oh Gorgeous BabyNo Gravatar July 24, 2012 at 11:04 pm

Gosh this is me on so many occasions. The start of it makes me want to cry and the end part makes me want to go wake up the kids! xx I know I am pregnant and all but that made me quite emotional.

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Lisa WoodNo Gravatar July 24, 2012 at 11:07 pm

Gorgeous! And so needed to read this one tonight!

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Sophie EllisNo Gravatar July 24, 2012 at 11:09 pm

Gorgeous! Just gorgeous.

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Kirsty @ My Home TruthsNo Gravatar July 24, 2012 at 11:11 pm

Kelly, I’ve been feeling this for a while now – robotic, having no fun, just existing, rather than living. Thanks for writing this and giving me the reminder to just let the laughter out more often.

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Riff_RaffNo Gravatar July 24, 2012 at 11:20 pm

Love it love it LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you for making me smile!!!!!

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Ness @ One Perfect DayNo Gravatar July 25, 2012 at 1:32 am

This was beautiful! I’ve been on auto-pilot for weeks. Really just lost my spark. Today I forced myself to smile even when I didn’t feel like it and what do you know? Genuine, not forced, smiling by the end of the day and R and I had the best day together we’ve had in a long time.

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Nee SayNo Gravatar July 25, 2012 at 9:43 am

Beautiful post Kel. You described the morning sequence so perfectly – it’s just so easy to be a robot! Glad laughter hasn’t forgotten you & your gorgeous smile xx

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MeNo Gravatar July 25, 2012 at 1:53 pm

Thank you for this (and thank you B for sharing on twitter) – just what I needed to remind me to laugh more often !!!
Have the best day ever.
Me

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LouisaNo Gravatar July 25, 2012 at 6:22 pm

Beautiful post Kel – I wish I read it before I’d put the kids to bed. I need to remember to laugh more too!

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RebekahNo Gravatar July 26, 2012 at 1:35 pm

This is beautiful!! Thanks for sharing!

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Squiggly RainbowNo Gravatar July 26, 2012 at 6:22 pm

We returned to school this week at our gorgeous little Christian school after a three week holiday… The whole school routine that you have described is definitely so robotic – it drives me nuts! My boys have not responded well to this first week back, and I assure you, unfortunately – there has not been much laughter at all! Rach xx

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Button BabyNo Gravatar July 27, 2012 at 11:06 pm

Beautiful post! We all need to remember to smile from time to time.

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