|The Laughing Mom: humorous tales of motherhood|
|Written by Susan Pfaltzgraff|
My family is facing hard times right now like nothing I ever imagined. I’ll spare you the details of the situation because it is nothing to laugh about. In fact, there is so much heartache right now that I wondered if The Laughing Mom would ever laugh again. But then I did. And to do it felt strange . . . and embarrassing . . . and surprisingly relieving.
Just a few days ago, a group of women came to my house to help me with cleaning. With a toddler and a 3-week-old baby to care for, plus the difficult situation we have found ourselves in, my house was in disarray as much as my emotions were.
It felt so awkward at first to let these women clean my house. Normally I never let anyone come over unless I have it scrubbed clean from ceiling to floor . . . and since I never have time to do that, we never have guests! So with great trepidation, I let these fine women into my grungy home.
In a mere two hours, this lovely “cleaning brigade” not only straightened up my house, but lightened my load while they were at it. They bustled around with broom and vacuum and dust rags and sponges until I barely recognized the place. They reminded me of Snow White who smiled and sang as she tidied the dwarves’ house. I wanted to help, but could only manage to stand by meekly and watch.
Melise, my 2-year-old, followed them around suspiciously. She inspected their work and made complaints when it wasn’t to her liking. She got rather upset when some toys were rearranged. I rushed over to mediate the situation, but upon arrival I found her laughing with our friend instead. I think somehow Melise was convinced that they were actually working for her. The ladies may not have understood, but I do believe that Melise was giving them orders in her choppy toddler dialogue!
After all the cleaning was done, the cleaning brigade became the lunch brigade. They gathered around my table with food and the warmth of friendship. I had a hard time following their light banter, but I was very aware of Melise. She happily sat among them like she was just one of the girls. She chatted (although we couldn’t understand half of what she said) and laughed at her own jokes. The ladies doted on her. It was as if everyone at the table was Melise’s grandma—the lunch brigade had become the Grandma Club.
At one point, she waved to each person around the table and announced their names in turn. Then she said loudly and clearly, “These my friends!” Everyone laughed at her spontaneous expression, including me. I’m sure it was the first time I had laughed for a full day. She continued to entertain the group and I found it easier and easier to smile.
As awkward as it felt, in that moment I realized that laughter among friends and family is necessary to survive tough situations. Thank goodness I have Melise to remind me how to laugh.