Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Laughter, the Best Medicine

Ryan has reached the stage where it takes almost nothing to make him laugh. In fact, he often looks at some random object in the room (a lamp, a bookcase, the stove) and then spontaneously breaks into giggles. Sometimes he’ll giggle for a moment, stop and look at whatever it is for a few more seconds, and then break into gales of laughter again. If he’s looking at my feet and I wiggle my toes, he guffaws. If he’s looking at my face and I smile or say “Boo!” he laughs uproariously. If he’s lying on the floor and kicks his feet loudly against the floor, he snickers. If I toss a rag over his face, he pulls it off and chuckles. And if he’s on his back and I grab his feet and pull them over his head, he cracks up like there’s never been anything quite as funny in all of history. And any kind of motion sends him into giggle fits, whether it’s Daddy tossing him up in the air like a rag doll, Mommy rolling him back and forth in her arms, or swinging on a swing.

He’s pretty much always been a laugher. He learned to laugh early, and once he figured it out it was a trick he pulled out all the time. He loves being tickled and teased and poked. He loves hearing (and making) goofy noises. He laughs at his toys, his shadow, his reflection, and the ceiling. It really doesn’t take much to tickle his funny bone.

And his laughter makes everyone who hears it happy. Who can listen to a laughing baby without joining in on the laughter – particularly if what’s making the baby laugh is something as random as a chandelier or a spot on the carpet? As I’m writing this, he’s lying on the floor behind me, playing with a fluffy blanket and quietly chuckling to himself. His laughter – even his very happiness – is infectious. I can’t help but feel in a better mood listening to him laugh. His joy makes me forget all my woes. It makes me want to join in and find something amusing in all the boring, ordinary things in my world.

So whenever I’m in a bad mood, all I need to do to cheer myself up is wiggle my toes or stick out my tongue or blow a raspberry, and Ryan and I will both start laughing and forget all our worries. Because laughter really is the best medicine.

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