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Laughter for the Soul

It didn’t help that we were still crammed in the van last night at ten fifteen, hustling home on the back roads.  Or that we’d eaten hotdogs for dinner.  Or that the van still smelled like puke from a previous outing.  No…I guess none of that really mattered, though we were somewhat edgy and kept an eye on our barf specialist–just in case. 

What passed the dark miles, I suppose, were our two kids, both in rummy stage, trying to outdo each other. “You’re a very stinky toilet,” he’d say, pointing at her head.  And they’d both lean back and laugh.  Then he’d anticipate her comeback, already on the verge of laughing again.  And she’d say, “well, you’re a very, very, very…very stinky toilet.”  And the two of them would howl.  Until they’d both been port-a-potties, poopy diapers, and smelly shorts in varying intensities. 

I hope you’ll forgive us for allowing this, per se. My husband may have added a little fuel to the campfire with some well-received comments of his own.  And I may have rolled my eyes at the lot of them.  And snickered quietly as I faced the window.  But no one was crying… And if you’ll trust me on this one: there is a difference in the van climate when a child nearly passes out from laughing, as from crying.  The former we can handle.

Only our children went to bed a little late.  Followed by another understatement.  And our son will woke up a little early.  Say around 2:30 a.m.  He made his way downstairs, turned the lights on and then wondered where everyone was.  Uh…we were in bed.

With help from his mother, he would re-find his bottom bunk. Then at seven eighteen, he would wander out of bed for good on this chipper Saturday morning.  He would eventually ask for pickles for breakfast but settle for eggs.  He would eat a quartered peach but not the skin.  And he would zip around the house poking Lincoln Logs at his sister, and whapping the rest of us with the shells he’d gathered yesterday still in a Zip-loc bag.

Even now I can hear his little feet pounding on the hardwoods, as he’s rounding the corner to the kitchen.  And she’s behind him, running from the bathroom.  And his report is that she peed in his pull-up.  Only she didn’t, and we all know it.  And we’re all laughing again.  Because we’re tired.  And because he hasn’t paused since he left his bed.  Which will also be the reason we’re crying later. And the reason he’s in ‘time-out.’

But for now… for this brief moment, I’ll warm my soul.  I’ll revel in the peace and the joy and the calm that even a little laughter brings. Because I know–too soon–that I’ll be hoping…

that it might’ve lasted…

just…a little longer.

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