Sometimes, I Forget to Laugh

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.”


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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Kelly loves life at both ends of the spectrum: wearing high heel shoes one day and hiking boots the next; sipping tea out of a pretty cup and slurping hot coffee from a camping mug; challenging herself physically and stopping for quiet unhurried moments to feel the wind on her face. Kelly and her husband Matthew seek to live a fun and adventurous life with their four children and pet bird.

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  1. says

    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.

  2. says

    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.

  3. says

    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

  4. says

    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.

  5. says

    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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