Monday, March 3, 2014

Military Monday: Laugh

My husband and I took a cruise in the Mediterranean for our honeymoon a whole lot of years ago. We opted for the shared dining experience in the big dining room, and were fortunate enough to share our table with a family of five from Hamilton. I can't remember their names...only that dad was a lawyer and mom was a nurse and the kids were all in their mid to late teens.

This Hamilton family expanded their space to us and we became part of their unit over the next few days. I remember thinking how nice it was that they were travelling as a family, even though the kids were older. That at a time when most kids wanted nothing to do with their parents, their three almost-grown children wanted to be with their parents. I admired them as a family. Why?

They were having FUN together.

They joked with Dad about the 'real leather vest' (obviously fake) he'd bought off of a pedlar on the street. They giggled about how Dad had danced with the feather-boa clad entertainers on stage. Mom smiled and daughters whispered and son tried to look mature and grown-up, and they teased and joked and giggled and five course meals passed in seconds.

I remember thinking that some day, I wanted a family like that.

This family stuck with me as my husband and I had children of our own over the next few years. And now in the blink of an eye we have teens. (How is that possible? Weren't they just babies yesterday?) Our life is crazy and hectic and with two careers and military life and a farm and a thousand extra-curriculars, I wonder how we can possibly make it to next week, let alone manage stay together as a family. When hubby is on one side of the world and I'm knee deep in assorted excrement (think dog, cat, sheep, chicken, horse...) and I have to somehow get three kids to three different parts of the country by myself, on a day I have to be at work, and I've got writing deadlines and groceries to buy and laundry to do and--oh yes!--did I mention it's posting season and the house has to be spotless because the real estate agents are taking pictures while we're out?

I'll tell you how we manage.

We laugh.

We giggle and we joke and we do silly things and instead of taking things seriously, we take risks.
We  go skiing when it's thirty below zero. We drive to places we've never seen. Dad tells the same silly jokes over and over and when he goes away we eat popcorn for supper and play loud music and dance.

Sometimes it's hard to laugh. When people are sick, when the money is short, when friendships go awry or when bad things happen. When reunions get delayed.  When information doesn't get passed on. When Dad misses a birthday. There will always be a fine line between laughter and tears. There's nothing wrong with tears. Tears are strength in liquid form.

But if at all possible, tip things upward and giggle. Find something in it to laugh about.

Ten years later we'll look back on the difficult times and laugh. We'll wonder what we were so worried about. Because really, laughter is background music for great family memories.


"I think laughter may be a form of courage. As humans we sometimes stand tall and look into the sun and laugh, and I think we are never more brave than when we do that."
                   ~Linda Ellerbee

1 comment:

  1. Laughter is the best medicine, as they always say. It may not solve the problem but it will lighten the burden and allow us to think on how can we solve it and handle our problems accordingly. There is no greater memories than a family in laughter.



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