A few days ago, I was in line to check out of a store. While waiting, a woman passed by with a baby in her arms, maybe about ten months old. He was a real cutie, chubby, blond hair, round face, bright eyes and being carried like a bag of groceries on his mother’s hip. His arms and legs were free to move, wiggle and wave about. He seemed a happy little fellow in general, with a wide smile and frequent bouts of giggling.
This idyllic little scene had my full attention and I was just starting to remember the feeling of holding a bundle of sweet smelling joy, when the baby’s much older brother (by about seven or eight years) ran up and with both hands, tickled the baby’s tummy. The laugh that emerged from the little body was immense. It started in the round baby belly, bubbled up out of the happiest face ever and ended with arms and legs waving in spasmodic glee. I can’t remember the last time I saw a full body laugh like that. And every time the big brother came at the baby with those tickling fingers, it happened again . . . . . and again . . . . . and again.
When does laughing like that stop? Why does laughing like that stop? One of the consequences of getting older, I suppose, but what a shame. It’s a laugh like no other and we outgrow it?! Oh please tell me I can get it back. Please tell me I can laugh with my whole body when I am so happy I can’t hold it in. Please tell me the joy I saw in that baby is still available, still attainable. Please.
I think I do still have it in me! Deep down there somewhere, from my childhood, just waiting to be resurrected. I’m going to give it a try! The next time something strikes my funny bone, the next time I hear the best third grade joke ever or the next time someone tickles my tummy, I’m going to respond with a great big body laugh.
From the top of my head to the tips of my toes, I will exude glee and joy. My face will have glowing eyes and a broad smile. My Granny tummy will be chuckling and gurgling with the most infectious sound ever heard. My arms and legs will literally be dancing with delight.
This may not be a pretty sight but it sure will feel good. I can hardly wait! Come on, somebody say something funny! I gotta laugh!