31 Days of Giving Permission . . . to LAUGH

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 So . . . I have this really huge laugh.
It’s embarrassing – just ask my kids or my husband.
I love to laugh, I need to laugh,
but sometimes, I’m too inhibited to really let ‘er rip, you know?

When I’ve had too many days like that,
I need to find a child to be with.

Please bear in mind that I am not a ‘kid’ person.
I adore my children and their children.
And anybody’s baby is fair game, in my book.

But small kids?
I tend to smile benignly . . . from a distance.
When they get a little older,
I’m all in, fascinated by the conversations,
interested in what interests them,
delighted to know who they’re becoming.

And yet, I’ll say it again — it is the little ones
that I need to be with when I find I am
getting a little too full of myself,
or am a little too unwilling to play the fool.

Because the truth is this:
I AM a fool — in a very good way, I hope.
I’m not the fool that the book of Proverbs warns against,
the one who refuses to ‘fear the Lord.’

But I AM the fool who loves a good giggle,
who enjoys good jokes, good writing, good company.

Despite that truth, there are times when
I need to give myself permission to
really, truly LAUGH.

A few weeks ago, I went to Grandparent’s Day at our littlest girl’s school.
Dick had a meeting, so it was just Nana for this event,
which is a rare thing in and of itself.
Because my husband, you see, is a child’s dream come true.
He truly gets them,
he loves them, he volunteers to work
with Lilly’s class of 15 one full day each week.

The man is a saint, I tell you, a saint. 

But this day, it was my turn.

And, my stars, did I have fun. 

Because, this girl?

This girl — she knows how to have fun. Yes, she does.

All I had to do was be her shadow for a couple of hours,
and I felt better about myself, about the world, about life. 

 I even got on a swing, for the first time in years!
I didn’t stay on the swing for very long . . .
because, you know, there were all those adults around . . .
but I swung myself up and back a few times and leaned my head back,
and I laughed out loud. 

 I have written, and will write again in this very series,
about the need for lament, for tears, for letting
the fullness of our grief up to the surface and out.

But today, I want to encourage you to LAUGH.

To smile, giggle, chuckle, guffaw — to let the joy of life
seep through you and then leak out into the world
around you, wherever you may be. 

 Because laughter is good medicine,
it brings relief and release and joy.

Try it!! You’ll like it.

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  1. I like this, Diana. And I can so hear your big laugh, and picture it.
    Last Friday we had pizza at a park with our kids, away from the playground and closer to a big field, so we played tag and I ran for the first time in how long and we all giggled and screamed. It was good. This time around, with the twins, I’m feeling the invitation to stop observing them so much and to join in on their games, letting them lead me into joy, awe, or whatever else it may be.

    • Yay for picnics!! And yay for running when you haven’t in a while. Giggling is so good for us – and I am so glad you’re taking the time to join with your twins. I get that observation post thing – I did too much of that, I think. My husband is a champ at entering in and I love to watch him do it.

  2. I am doing a scrapbooking weekend with my two “soul friends” – the ones who have walked with me over these past 8 years. we will laugh. A cousin and i used to have “laughing parties.” one would start laughing and then the other would laugh and soon we’d be laughing and couldn’t stop. haven’t done that one for years! i was at a corporate dinner years ago and one table started laughing just to see what would happen. it attracted so much attention the other tables all joined in. hilarious.

    • Oh, how lovely, Carol. I’m so glad your nourishing yourself this weekend. I think that’s exactly what you need right now, don’t you? And I love contagious laughing fits! (Only they sometimes happen in the least convenient places – like church. :>)

  3. Donna Baker says

    I am new to your blog Diana and finding your voice just delightful! YEssssss there is such a centered and simple equilibrium that comes to me in the precense of children. A freeing and letting go of pretensions and posturing; trading it for pretending! I can remember being an airplane with a bunch of three year olds one time and seeing how happy THEY were that I could BE with them. It shocked me that they were blessed, as I thought I was the recipient of the gift of “becoming like one of these”. Not so; they welcomed ME and blessed my heart.

    • Nice to meet you, Donna – welcome! I like that – letting go of pretensions in order to truly pretend. That’s a lost art sometimes, I think. Love your story – and I bet you make a great airplane.

  4. Hi Diana! I could use a good laugh today. Like you, ism usually the fool but lately I’m all tied in knots and bent out of shape and finding it hard to have that release. Tonight because of you, I’m popping some corn and watching my favorite movie with the kids and I will relax and work on finding my laugh. Breathing a whole lot deeper having shared your joy! Thanks friend.

    • Oh honey – anytime I can help you unkink a knot or two, that’s a very good day!! Enjoy the popcorn, the movie and those beautiful kids.

  5. It is one of my favorite things about our family … we laugh often and we laugh easily.


    ps. I like a big laugh.

  6. That’s funny – having a big laugh fits with the picture I have of you in my head! 🙂 Lovely to see some pics of Lilly again, she’s beautiful.

    • Just about everything about me is big, Donna. Just the way I am. Some of it I love, some of it – not so much. And yes, Lilly is beautiful. And wonderful. And smart. But then I’m her NANA, I’m beyond prejudiced. :>)

  7. This brought a huge smile to my face. Laughter truly is medicine!! Love it and love your heart!

    • Thanks, Amanda. Laughing is one of your gifts. And helping others to laugh, too. I’m grateful for that gift; I’m grateful for you.

  8. I love your smile. I love your laugh. I love this piece. I love these pictures. I love this girl.

    My sister. She can send me into gales of breathless laughter.

    You’re not coming in November, are you? I wish you were. There’s a gaggle of us geese that really need time to guffaw.

    • Thanks for ALL the love, Sandy. Right back at you, my friend. And no, I’m not coming in November. And part of me really wants to. The other part just wants to get home about now and stay home for a while. That’s where its’ at this year. All great trips. But a whole lot of them.