Loud laughers

My favorite people are loud laughers.  I love people with giant laughs that throw their heads back and slap their knees when they are amused by something.  When people laugh until they cry, I am joy-filled. When they have to bend over and grab ahold of something because they are in such a hysterical laughing fit, I can fall right in after them.  In fact, at this point in my life I’ve learned that someone who is a contained laugher is probably not one of “my people.”  I’m sure they are lovely individuals but I’m just drawn to those who can be so overcome with amusement that it cannot be contained within their bodies.

Lately, I have found myself overcome with laughter such as this due to my children.  Although much to my childrens’ chagrin, I am rarely humored by what they think I should be humored by.  A knock knock joke is a snooze fest to me.  Despite this, I have been subjected to hearing millions of them in the last 13 years.   Sarcasm will always get me giggling and as my husband likes to call it, “physical humor.”  That show Wipeout can have me howling with laughter as can most Jim Carrey movies.

Anyone with a three year old can tell you that they say funny things on a daily basis.  Case in point: my three year old recently told me in a very teary voice:  “I’m so so sad because my tummy hurts.” When I questioned further she lifted her shirt, pointed directly at her belly button and said, “Well LOOK, dere’s a hole in it!”

Then there was the time she lifted my shirt to ask…”is dere a baby in dere?”  Um no.  And not funny.

A three year old is just funny in their own existence but I usually find humor in my older daughters’ conversations with each other.  As I’ve told you in a prior post, my 13 year old, Avery, has her nose buried in a book most of the time.  She loves to read as much, if not more, than I do.  Because of this, her books are as precious to her as nail polish is to her 11 year old sister.  Neither collection can be touched by their siblings because they each hold them so dear.  I’ll admit that I don’t hold so tightly to my formerly read books.  I donate most of them because I want others to be able to read them.  Avery, on the other hand, considers her books as dear as family.  She has a bookshelf where they are organized and gazed upon adoringly after they are read.

Recently, Laney (formerly referenced nail-polish-collecting 11 year old) asked to borrow one of Avery’s books for a school book report.  Avery reluctantly agreed and lent the book.  We were in the car on the way home from school and this is the conversation in the back seat.

Avery:  “Laney, I smell a wet book.  You didn’t get the book I lent you wet did you?”

Laney:  “What?! No!  And by the way, you’re crazy, you can’t smell a wet book.”

Avery:  “Oh yes I CAN and right NOW I smell a wet book! Where is it?”

Laney: “In my backpack, relax!”

Avery:  “Get it out, right now.  I want to see it.”

Laney: “Avery, you need to CALM DOWN!  I’m not getting the book out, you CAN’T SMELL anything!”

Quick interruption.  Anyone who has ever gotten a book wet knows exactly what it looks like.  It swells considerably.  If you’re uncertain, ask my mother.  I’m pretty sure she funded the new library in my hometown because she’s dropped so many library books into the bathtub and was forced to pay for them.  This does beg the question:  “why does she continue to take books into the bathtub,”  but a blog about decisions such as this made by my mother could easily take up another post.  Story for another day.

Back to the former conversation which is now reaching a fevered pitch:

Avery: “Mom!  Please make Laney get out my book. I know I can smell a wet book!”

Me:  “Ok fine!  For the record though, I’m with Laney on this one. Laney get the book out for pete’s sake.”

Laney: “Fine!”

She grabs the book out of her bag and throws it at her sister.  I will admit my surprise when I noticed that the one inch book that was originally lent to Laney was now at least 5 inches thick.  It had been water damaged indeed.

Silence fills the car.  For some reason, I am having to stifle hysterical sobs of laughter that want to come out of my body like a siren.  What just happened?! I must ask another question even though I KNOW it will be the one that pushes me over the edge.

ME:  “Ummmm Avery, what exactly does a wet book smell like?”

Without missing a beat and with a giant sigh while she stared out the window forlornly she answered:

“It smells like sorrow.”

And that was all it took, I was a laughing fool.

Finally, sometimes you just have to laugh instead of cry.  For Mother’s Day I received thoughtful homemade gifts from my daughters.  Laney’s gift was a mason jar that was decorated and filled with strips of paper that each had a reason she loved me.  For days I would take a strip of paper out and read it and smile at the sweet sentiment written.  The gift that keeps on giving, right? So you think. Last week I opened the paper you see in this photograph.


Let me clear up EXACTLY what it says just in case you can’t read it.  For that day’s “reason I love you so much” it read:

“Whenever I hug you it’s like hugging a marshmallow.”

Hmmm. There are not enough hours that can be logged at the gym to overcome that one, people.  There is not enough carb-free living that can be done to un-see that piece of paper.

Laney always wants to know which one I picked that day and loves seeing me get excited to tell her how sweet it was.  That day, I told her which one and as usual her eyes lit up with self-satisfaction at her generous, thoughtful gift.

I felt compelled to ask…”Sooooo.  You think I feel like a marshmallow when you hug me?”

Still smiling big she answered, “Oh yes mama!  I LOVE marshmallows and I LOVE you!”

A glimmer of hope!  “OHHH! So it isn’t that I actually feel like a marshmallow it’s just that you love marshmallows and you love me? That’s the ONLY SIMILARITY, RIGHT?!?! Like, if you really loved…oh I don’t know…a marble, muscle-bound statue you might have said that it was like hugging a marble, muscle-bound statue when you hug me?”

Her smile was fading a bit as she looked a tad confused and said…”Well, I guess.”

Whew, I was so relieved.  Then she added…

“But since I actually do love marshmallows I’m sure glad that that’s what you REALLY do feel like when I hug you!!!”

See folks…you gotta laugh right through it.  And do it loudly so we can be friends, ok?

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