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!
Sometimes I laugh so hard people think I’m crying. Not sure if its the tears running down my face or the weird squeaking noise I make that confuses them.
Confusing or not, you must laugh! It is required by life! I loved reading about your first day as RA. Too too funny! I entered college pretty naive, like you and like you, I grew up in about ONE DAY. Those were the good days, huh?
Thanks for visiting me.
I feel that once you get older, you have seen too much to ever laugh like that again.There is always sadness under the laugh for us.Even my 4 year old is losing that laugh… 😦
I’m so sorry to hear you say that. I feel just the opposite. What I experience with my senses is what gives me pleasure and reason to laugh. How you could watch your four year old child romp through life and not laugh is a mystery.
It sounds like there is more at issue here than just loss of a belly laugh. I’m sending you some of my “Granny chicken soup” and special hugs. Hope it helps!
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