A Great Big Belly-Laugh

A few days ago I laughed.  A great big belly-laugh.  The kind that just bubbles up and you can’t control.

The cause was my 4 year old son.  He has a big bouncy ball that’s made for hopping.  He put on a funny hat and a clown nose that he got at the circus a couple of months ago.  As he was bouncing, the nose kept falling off and he’d bounce around chasing it.  It was hilarious.

Now I know that this doesn’t sound earth-shaking – and it may not even sound that funny in words (it’s a “guess you had to be there” kind of story).  You’re probably even wondering why I’m blogging about it.  But I learned something.

When I laughed, my kids just looked at me.  All of them.  A look of surprise – like they’d never seen this before.  After I laughed, I realized that it had been a very, very long time since I’d laughed like that.  I don’t even remember the last time, frankly.

I know I’ve always been kind of a quiet, keep-to-yourself, serious kind of person.  But really, when did I get so not-much-fun-at-all????

I think when I had kids.  Yes, they are altogether wonderful and parenting is joyful and rewarding.  I love it and wouldn’t trade it for the world.  But I think I very easily get caught up in the fact that I am parenting these little people and wowisthataheavything and whatifImessthemuprealbad?  It’s some serious stuff, people!

And I guess I learned after that belly-laugh that I need to lighten up a bit.  Let loose, laugh, have fun, enjoy… these little people of mine.

So if any of you are tempted by this heavy responsibility of yours to take life a little too seriously, know that you are not alone.  Take a step back and breathe.  Then laugh – loud and long and uninhibited.  You’ll enjoy it and so will your kids.

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