This isn’t a big thing, really. People laugh all the time. And I take great joy in making people laugh and listening to the way people laugh, especially babies and toddlers. There is something of pure joy in the peals of little guy laughter. But this past week has been such a whirlwind of stress and frustration and sorrow that I just didn’t have it in me.
Certainly I saw the humor in things; I made a few wisecracks here and there. But my heart was just too heavy. So it was at staff meeting this morning, as my supervisor and the HOS were trading puns that I realized I was really and truly laughing out loud. And after that brief moment of meta-cognition, I just enjoyed the release that came along with it.
I think it was because last night, the kiddo laughed. Not the fake laugh of the person trying to hard to prove that they are ok. The honest giggle of a 16year old caught off guard. And he laughed again this morning as we talked about the silliness of Barenaked Ladies lyrics.
I love that kid. It really does break my heart that the darkness that is beyond our control sneaks in and steals away security, confidence and joy. Especially the joy. This is the baby who would giggle in his sleep from 6 months on. The one who would tell endless knock-knock jokes and riddles just to hear us laugh. When that stops, it is like the world goes strangely cold and I enter a near-hibernation mode of my own.
Sometimes I wonder if I am steeling myself for the worst. Maybe. I know I mourn every day that depression and anxiety win. And the laughter that I should have heard.