Wednesday, November 19, 2014


laugh (verb)
make the spontaneous sounds and movements
of the face and body that are the instinctive
expressions of lively amusement

This word was a bit hard for me because I did not come from a very fun or funny family.  There were many reasons why that was so, but the main one is that my parents were not storytellers.  Gut laughter comes from living a fun life and then developing the stories that go along with that life.  That is the whole premise of the book that I am almost finished writing.  

There was no laughing around the dinner table when I was a child.  As a matter of fact, we mostly were required to eat quietly so my dad could hear the news or a sporting event being broadcasted on the television in the next room.  We children were to be seen and not heard.  

That is probably why we all loved it when the greatest storyteller of all time, our Uncle Tom, would get going.  He was animated and expressive, and we all fully expected his eyes to pop right out of his head.  

He was a Pittsburgh policeman who worked as a beat cop in one of the highest crime areas of the city.  He interacted with lots of interesting people who became the characters in his masterfully told and probably a bit exaggerated stories. 

Many times we would laugh until we cried.  And many times we would beg him to tell another . . . and another.

I realized early on how much I love to laugh--long before I knew that "laughter does good like a medicine."  I actually crave laughter, and am thankful that I inherited the storytelling gene.  It has enabled me to tell myself a good one when I need to.


Becca Hill said...

I don't remember laughing at all as a child. I'm sure I did, but trying hard to remember doesn't produce any memory! I lived with serious parents, who had serious jobs & dealt with serious issues of literal life & death... Not to mention delinquent jr high & high school children & aging parents. So I think I had a "no laughing" childhood!
Occasionally, I would hear my mother late at night come home with daddy & her laughter made me think something was wrong!
( now I think it probably just involved too much alcohol.)

As a parent, I'm so glad my children experience laughter every day! They make fun of me because I don't really laugh much... I just say, " how funny!"
They always say... "Mom, why don't you LAUGH if its funny? You just say, " that's funny!"

Now I'm thinking maybe I never learned how.

Kimberly Hoyt said...

I'm also of the generation that grew up when children were to be "seen but not heard". My mom and her friends laughed a lot when they got together for their weekly card games, or when the families would gather for a meal or a party, but we children were expected to be quiet in another room. When we'd get too loud, one of the moms would come in and smack the closest child and yell for all of us to "pipe down!" That's just the way it was -- for my friends in the neighborhood or school too, which is why I think it was a generational thing. I remember as a teenager when my mom's younger friends were parenting in a more relaxed fashion, and my mom and her contemporaries would talk about how horrible those children were -- because they were allowed to speak up! hahaha

Most of my memories of laughing come from when my friends and I were outside playing. Dodge ball is the game I remember laughing the most at, because of all the horseplay and good-natured teasing that occurred between teams.

Good books also caused me to laugh out loud occasionally :)