Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Shared laughter is the best medicine

Max and Dave were reading a book of knock-knock jokes on a train the other day, and Max cracked up. I laughed, too, and so did a bunch of people sitting around us. (New Yorkers: not such a jaded bunch.) Later, Sabrina read to him, and we all started laughing again.

Even when I'm having a crappy day, or I'm not in the best of moods, laughing with the kids literally makes my heart feel lighter. Laughing with Max has the added bonus of sharing a connection that's both emotional and cognitive. 

During the first year of Max's life, I still cared about milestones (eventually, I stopped that self-torture). Smiling and laughing were the only milestones Max hit on time; he readily responded to my raspberries. It was as if God was finally giving me a break. I desperately needed to know he wasn't suffering from the stroke he'd had, even though doctors said he wasn't, and I desperately needed to feel some sense of normal parental happiness. Max's chortles were the only light moments in those dark months. (Also: Dave's catchy ditty "Max makes big DOOOOODIES!" sung to the tune of nothing at all.) The endorphin rush was healing.

Laughing at your mom doing something silly is one thing; sharing a laugh with her another. It says, "We are both acknowledging this is rather amusing." I remember one time, several years ago, when Sabrina was lying on the kitchen floor and having a meltdown of epic proportions, complete with flailing limbs and "YOU DON'T LOOOOOOOVE ME!" screeches. Max gave me a look and we both started giggling, yet more proof those wheels were turning in his head. He knew she was being ridiculous.

Lately, Max is really going for laughs. He knows that his newfound ability to wink kills me, and so when I tell him it's time to turn off the iPad or put away his toys, he winks. And suddenly, I am helpless with giggles.

Last night, as I walked Max into his bedroom to get his pj's on, he informed me that I hadn't knocked on his door. So I went back out, shut the door and knocked. No answer. I knocked again. Still, no reply. I knocked and knocked. 

"Go away!" said Max.

I opened the door, and Max and I laughed and laughed until tears came out of my eyes.

It felt so good.


  1. Aw I love this!! It's amazing when you see their humor and personality coming out :)

  2. Very proud of my laughter lines. Not so proud of my weak pelvic floor which is tested when my children make me laugh. Must do kegels xx

  3. I think laughter and taking time out from the therapy regime to have fun as a family is essential bonding. Laughter and holidays have really kept us connected. The fun times are going to be what create the memories for our kids

  4. What I would give to laugh with Max too! I love a good chuckle. When I was your Sabrina's age, I had a Little Golden Book of Jokes and Riddles, and as ridiculous as they were they always made me and my parents laugh!

  5. When all else fails, just laugh.

  6. Love your post! I too love the joy of laughing with our sons, there is nothing like it, especially when we worry so much about them. I think laughing together lightens our emotional load while reinforcing our love for each other.

  7. Great post...made me laugh out loud! I have found that since I have had my Anthony, who has CP and is non-verbal too, I laugh at least once a day that my belly hurts! I had forgotten how good that feels. :)


Thanks for sharing!

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