Yes, I just started this post by saying poop. Because I’m a (mostly) #boymom. And for some reason the mere sound of this word elicits undercover giggles and hearty chuckles from everyone in the room. Even me. And I’m supposed to be the sensible one in the group.
And I was. Really. I used to be the person that needed each knick-knack (though few) to be in the exact right spot. Not an inch off, exactly where I had them placed before someone so offensively knocked them an inch away. I used to be the person that didn’t allow poop jokes, or even the mention of poop. I was the mom that frowned and cringed when my children (and husband) made inappropriate sounds at the dinner table. I was the proper mom.
But now, now, I am the one being reminded that we shouldn’t be saying “poop” at the dinner table. Now my children remind me that we can’t make certain jokes. Now I’m the mom who laughs with her children.
Believe me, I still love rules and order, but I have also learned to smile, to laugh, and to be the teller of the “poop jokes.” Because I have learned that laughter is vitally important. It may not be the lifeblood of the family, but it is invaluable. Laughter is the fighter of the family. I know, that sounds counter-intuitive. Laughter as the warrior? But laughter is powerful, friends. Laughter has the power to break down walls, to unite hearts, and to carry joy.
There are many days that my seven year old, Man-Child, will get off the bus and quietly get a snack. Any questions about his day are met with grunts or shrugs. Yes, I have already entered the teen years, unfortunately a few years early. But if I tell a joke (preferably an inappropriate one, you know, one about poop) Man-Child laughs. Almost unwillingly. And suddenly, the boundary is removed, or mostly. He begins to share snippets of his day. He opens up. He remembers that we are not just Leader and Follower. He laughs and remembers the relationship we have. He laughs and remembers the love we have. He laughs and he remembers who we are.
That’s the power of laughter, of silliness. It helps us to remember. And you know how I feel about remembering. Remembering is the key to thankfulness, to gratefulness. When we practice the art of remembering, we are practicing thankfulness, we are removing fear and replacing it with joy.
I am re-reading the Bible, and am in Genesis (yes, I am a little behind). The other day I read the story of Sarah and Abraham, and the birth of Isaac. I always gloss over this story and Sarah’s laughter. But today, I cannot get it out of my head, or my heart.
And Sarah said, “God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh over (with) me.” (Genesis 21:6)
Today, as I sit and write this, I smile. I cannot help it. Laughter is part of this wonderful creation. Laughter is part of God’s glory. Laughter is right there, in this moment. Laughter was made for my children and it was made for my friends. Laughter was even made for me; the mom with all the rules.
And friends, laughter was made for you. I’m going to say that again. Laughter was created for you. It was intentionally designed, intentionally created for each and every one of us. It was made for our relationships, it was made for our hearts. And there is power in it.
It is so easy to overlook laughter. It is easy to shrug off silliness. But when we stop, when we pause and engage in the laughter with those in our lives: from our littles to our spouse, even to our neighbors; we become human. Laughter makes us relatable. Laughter draws us together. Laughter builds community.
What is laughter to you? How does laughter play it’s role in your life, in your family, and in your community?
Today I am joining Esther Emery for the #WholeMama link up. I am excited to be in a community of mama bloggers that are willing to be real, vulnerable and honest. But most of all, that can show the amazing beauty and grace through it all. Each week we will be discussing one word and what it means to each of us. I would love if you joined in too! You can find more information on the original #WholeMama post, here.
Love this link up as much as I do? Here are my other #WholeMama posts: