A few nights ago my husband and I were going through the bedtime routine with our two children. Our girls were brushing their teeth and using the toilet one last time.
My youngest (age 2) began singing lines from a Disney princess film. She mixed up the words from two different songs while sitting on the potty seat. She sang louder and louder, twirling her tooth brush almost like a microphone.
My husband and I just looked at one another and burst into laughter. Soon our oldest daughter joined in with her non-stop giggles. We all laughed for several minutes.
The amusement was the deep-belly kind of laughs that none of us anticipated. It came on fast and suddenly. We nearly felt side-stitches in our hips.
I smile big thinking about it now as I write this story to share it here.
The moment was incredibly silly and insignificant. To others, it may seem very trivial or juvenile. To us, however, it was a great family moment. This was a sign of our quirky behavior and our lovable affection for one another.
When my family isn’t busy keeping up with the daily routine or I’m not coaxing my children to accomplish a task, get along or clean up their mess, we are trying to do something fun. We try to make each other laugh.
That had me thinking about how laughter has changed for me over the years and about how my kids have influenced my sense of humor.
Children bring a whole new dimension of comedy into your lives, especially if you waited several years into the marriage to have them, like I did.
I recall in the early years of my marriage how we laughed a great deal. Back then though it seemed to be over things like movies, comedian lines, animal stories or simply weird news in the community. The way we laughed and what we laughed about was different.
Now, over ten years into our marriage and two children later, we go into hysterics over anything and everything. When we view the portraits our kids draw of us, we can barely hold it together. If either of us bump into the table, a chair or drop a spoon, we chuckle for several minutes. It truly doesn’t take much to amuse any of us in my family.
We laugh at the very ordinary moments in our lives. Real life is funnier now.
Somehow the longer my spouse and I are married, the more silly moments occur. We then snicker longer over these ridiculous instances.
We laugh at ourselves. We poke fun, in a loving way, at each other.
Sometimes we may laugh to hide our concerns too. For example, if one of us is dealing with a health issue or a stressful work matter, we might crack a joke to get through the difficult situation. To keep from feeling too overwhelmed or even crying, we look for humor in the moment.
There is medical research written on the positive health benefits of laughter. The Mayo Clinic reports that laughter can reduce stress, help restore sleep patterns, improve your mood and improve your immune system among other great outcomes. Hysterics cannot cure all ailments but they can cause a ripple effect of helpful endorphins in the body and in the mind.
Perhaps that is why over time I feel happier with my husband and my family. I am more comfortable with them and with myself so I laugh more often. The ordinary incidents in our days somehow become extraordinarily funny to me.
Find ways to laugh as often as possible, with or without children in your lives. Recognize that the mundane can be comical. Cherish the silly moments within a serious day to face the tougher times in marriage and the solemn world we often live in.