What makes me laugh? I sometimes struggle to recall. Joy isn’t as frequent a visitor of late. The world is dragging us all down, and I have pesky depression in addition.
Mental illness sometimes makes me laugh. I’m allowed: I’m afflicted.
Politicians make me laugh, but not in a friendly way. That laughter is less joy and more derisive scorn.
I laugh at game night usually, especially if I’m not in last place. It’s hard to pretend life’s a beach when you’re being trounced. Winning makes things more fun.
Children make me laugh. Infants laughing make me laugh. Infants laughing make everyone laugh. I have no idea what the magic is; I only know it’s real.
Tiny humans bring all kinds of good. They’re unintentionally funny on the regular and good for them: frequent laugher helps us grow healthy hearts. It’s because they’re new: they look at the world with fresh eyes and what a strange and amusing place it is. How sad that we go blind.
Children can be unintentionally funny, and if they are, your laughter needs to stay locked up. Let it loose later when little ears can’t overhear. Children are very aware of their dignity and are regularly on guard for anything that looks to threaten it. My four-year-old grandson is a serious little man who gets quite testy if he thinks he the source of the crowd’s amusement. Though if he hasn’t seen me for a while, it’s “nana” at the top of his lungs as he leaps into my arms for a hug, sophistication of the later toddler years be damned. My son was the very same way.
I almost always find laughter when I spend time with children. I find love. It’s easy time, too. Kids might tire the body or wound the heart, but they rarely drag hard on the soul. Children are more honest and less agenda-driven than most adults, and their words and affect usually match. I’m not on guard in the same way when I spend time with children: the freedom to be myself is a lovely gift.
Many things can make us laugh: a book, a movie, an annoying neighbour slipping in the snow. For me, family is the thing that makes me laugh. Family is my happy place. [i] How odd that family is also the thing that makes me miserable.
[i] One of them.