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A good sense of humor not only makes you feel better, it can make you healthier, too. According to this article in Reader’s Digest, “research has shown that laughing can improve immunity, help regulate blood sugar levels, and improve sleep”. As an empty-nesting mom, I’ve found a great need for humor these days.
My view this morning is a calm, scenic bay complete with palm tree-lined sidewalk. The sky is an azure blue with scattered clouds. The sun is plentiful.
I am in Florida for a few days with my husband while he tends to duties in the home office and I…well, I just do nothing. Rest. Relax, enjoy the view. “Sit back, relax, and enjoy the flight”, as the stewardess says every time we board the plane from West Virginia.
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A weird feeling
Doing nothing is weird for a mom of four, finding herself in the near-empty nest. I text my youngest to check on her, but I don’t know why I bother. She’s got it all under control, studying for college classes, keeping the home fires burning, spending nights with various friends as per her usual self-sufficient personality.
I check social media to catch up on all four of my kids and once again they make me laugh, as they have been doing every day since they were born.
My oldest, the little mama, laments the fact that Monday has come – “There really needs to be another day between Sunday and Monday”.
My son is up to his usual nonsense, feeling sorry “for the one guy who actually does need a hole in his head”.
The middle college child snaps a picture of a bottle of mousse she accidentally carried around all morning, not realizing she grabbed it instead of her water bottle before class.
And the youngest mentions something about how cute fog is and that cats are negative animals.
The importance of humor
I hope your kids make you laugh. That’s why God made them, you know. To lighten our hearts–to catch the wonder and freshness of their perspective.
Did you ever wonder why God didn’t have us birth mature humans? Aside from the fact it would be astronomically painful for we moms, I mean. Sadly, we “mature” adults tend to lose our sense of humor as life lengthens. A kid’s perspective can totally slow you down and make you think, but also, they are just downright funny. If your kids don’t make you laugh, I’d venture to say you’re not paying attention, because most kids are just born funny.
Kids are born funny
A kid’s perspective can totally slow you down and make you think, but also, it’s just downright funny. If your kids don’t make you laugh, I’d venture to say you’re not paying attention, because most kids are just born funny.
I saw a sweet picture this morning of a little girl having “tea” with her daddy. She was dressed in a green, frilly dress, accompanied by pink butterfly wings. And oh, my mind went back in time, to the days when my girls dressed in plastic heels and feather boas the second they got out of bed – like it was their job every day.
And then there’s Sawyer, number one grandson, who visited his very first pumpkin patch yesterday. His mama took a picture of him sitting beside a couple of pumpkins, with a little yellow gourd in his hand. I noticed the gourd in the family pictures with mama and daddy too.
Mama explained, “He will not let go of that gourd. I think he thought it was a banana at first because he just opened his mouth and kept trying to eat it.” That’s our boy. Anything that isn’t a toy is wonderful and he must have it. And if it looks like a banana, all the better, because he adores bananas.
Passing down a sense of humor
My daughter laughs constantly at her son, she delights in him like no other thing in life. This unplanned, surprise baby was no surprise to God–very much planned by Him. This makes me happy, because it makes me think we did something right.
We passed along the gift of laughter–a sense of humor. This is important, because life gets heavy.
My parents had a good sense of humor – still do, and they’re suffering from some serious ailments. But my dad always finds something to joke about and my mom something to laugh at.
My husband’s family does as well–even when Jim’s dad was dying of brain cancer, they found ways to tease and laugh with him. “You have to laugh, otherwise you’ll cry” Jim’s mom explained. She had it right.
Humor in hard times
We just lost a dear family member to Parkinson’s, and last weekend I witnessed his wife, her daughter-in-laws, daughters, cousins, and my mother-in-law all laugh so hard that I thought one of them was going to bust a gut (roll with me here, it’s a West Virginia term).
It was such a sweet thing to watch. “A merry heart does good like medicine” (Proverbs 17:22) quoted one cousin as she wiped her eyes. She suffers from Multiple Sclerosis. What a testimony.
Humor in loss
What does all this have to do with my Florida trip? Nothing. Except I’ve been given some time to reflect.
I lost my laugh for a few months. A year, actually–because of my kids leaving home, missing life as it was, longing for more time and realizing this was the new normal.
I’m working on getting it back. Laughing at little things, even insignificant things, things I would not normally find amusing, because I have the opportunity to exercise that right and lighten my load. I try to not obsess about this, but it’s where I am in life.
A wise friend recently told me to not be too hard on myself but to give myself time to grieve. It took her three years – THREE YEARS – to be able to get over the empty nest and move on with life. I have to laugh, or I might just cry. In fact, I know I will.
A sense of humor in changing seasons
But this isn’t all there is, and God has given me a huge reason to laugh – little Sawyer, who loves his gourd. And his mama, and her three siblings, not to mention my quick witted husband, the ultimate prankster.
This weekend, Jim and I will fly back home, my son will return from Tennessee, our daughter from Ohio, and we will reunite with the rest of the family and extended family to celebrate Sawyer’s one year birthday.
And I am going to laugh. Laugh when he opens his presents and loves the boxes more than the gifts, laugh when he eats his first birthday cake and makes a mess all over himself, and laugh at my kids laughing at him and enjoying each other.
There is a time to laugh.
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance” Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4
Have you found times in your life when a sense of humor helped lighten your load? Share in the comments!
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