“Is it too soon to laugh?”
I was carrying a very wet Joey. Not because he had gone swimming. Not because I had just given him a bath. No, Joey was wet because I had just pulled him away from the toilet, where he was elbow deep in splishy-splashy fun. He was having a blast. I was not.
“It is too soon to laugh?” my husband asked.
I glared at him. And then burst out laughing.
I remember when Joey was first diagnosed, and I thought we would never be happy again. I remember thinking that we would pretend to be happy for the sake of our kids, but we would constantly have a cloud hanging over us.
I have never been happier to be wrong. Our lives have so.much.joy.
Not only have I learned to celebrate every little milestone, but now I am learning to laugh at life’s little frustrations.
Like the day when Joey took off his poopy diaper and used it to paint his crib… and himself… and the blinds… and anything else he could reach. There was a moment when I opened the door and gasped, “OH NO!” And then there was laughter.
Or the time when he used his oatmeal bowl as a hat… before he ate his oatmeal. And there was nothing to do but giggle and grab a sponge.
Or the time that he got his foot stuck in a grocery cart, and they called the fire department. And the sweet man who was helping us (who WORKED AT THE STORE) was so discombobulated and panicked that he brought out maple syrup to put on Joey’s foot, because he couldn’t find any oil. In the grocery store.
Or the countless times that I discipline him and he responds with a silly look, or turns and scampers away yelling “RUN!” And I just can’t help but laugh. (OK, I might need to work on that one if I ever want the kid to listen.)
Because here is what I am learning… I am never going to look back and say, “I wish I had spent less time enjoying life. I wish I would have yelled harder, held more grudges, been more frustrated.” No, I want to enjoy every single moment of this journey as much as I can, not only my journey with Joey, but just this journey of life. I cannot always control my circumstances—in fact, the older I get, the more I realize just how little control I have. But I can absolutely control my own responses and attitudes. And knowing that, why would I choose the ones that feel so lousy?
So can I give you some advice? If you’re ever in a situation where you think, “Someday I’ll look back on this and laugh”… just go ahead and laugh.
It’s never too soon.