What I Learned from Laughter: Laughing at the Small Stuff

Every now and then, I like to participate in Robert Hruzek’s group writing projects–they’re always a fun read!  This month’s subject focuses on:

What I Learned from Laughter.

At first, I thought I would just share the blog post I wrote over at Chicago Moms Blog:

When Your Only Option is a Thong.

When I wrote that one, several friends emailed me and told me they couldn’t stop laughing.  I wasn’t laughing too much when I wrote it, because I was overwhelmed at the laundry piles around my house.  But hey, I learned a valuable lesson from that episode: do your laundry on a regular basis and you won’t have to resort to thongs.  Or worse, commando, as Vicky once teased on Twitter.

When I think about what I’ve learned from laughter, there’s one episode in my life that stands out.  When the three kids were younger, I often had days when I counted the minutes until the hubby would arrive home and provide an extra pair of eyes and hands in my quest to keep three kids in one place.

My oldest kiddo, David, was often on hurricane cycle.  He would bounce from one activity to the next (like his Mom??) and leave a path of destruction in his wake.  I once put the baby down for a nap and left David and Lauren parked in front of the TV so I could quickly go to the bathroom.   I walked into the kitchen to find the two of them drawing wavy lines on the kitchen wall.  In a matter of seconds, David had grabbed some crayons off the counter and coerced his sister into drawing artwork on the flat white builder’s paint.  The artwork stayed on the wall for over a year– because neither the hubby nor I could muster up enough energy to paint over the crayon.

One evening, David was a category five and my patience was long gone.  I was just trying to survive long enough until the hubby arrived home so I could hand off the kid duties to him.  The hubby arrived home and surveyed the toys strewn about, the lunch dishes on the table and me with the harried look on my face.  He could tell it was “one of those days.”

After a hurried dinner, I filled the bathtub up and went to grab towels from the other bathroom.  As I walked back in, my eyes caught something floating in the bathtub.

I screamed.

It was a brand new book:  Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.

I fished it out of the water, wiped as much of the wet stuff off as I could and started to cry.  I sat on the toilet and the tears kept coming.  Mothering three kids just two years apart had taken its toll and came crashing down on me at that moment.  Just then, David came over, climbed in my lap and started hugging me.

“I love you Mommy.”  He hugged me again.

My eyes went back to the book and I saw the title more clearly.  “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.”

I started to laugh.

Alternating between tears and laughter, I smiled at the irony of the whole thing.

It is now years later– the little boy has grown into a young man– but I still have the book with the warped pages stuck together.  It’s a reminder of that hectic time of three kids under the age of four–when I thought the day would never end and I’d never have a minute to myself.  Today, the kids amuse themselves and there’s a little more time for me.  How quickly the time flies, how valuable that lesson of laughter is.

Don’t sweat the small stuff.  And remember to laugh in the process.

9 thoughts on “What I Learned from Laughter: Laughing at the Small Stuff

  1. WOW! what a great lesson and reminder! I’ll be in the same boat after Jan but luckily my oldest is pretty mellow but we do have our days though.. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Pingback: Middle Zone Musings » All Entries: What I Learned From Laughter

  3. This post is rather appropriate for my life at the moment- I have a Category 5 running around the family room right now. I have to share this with some moms at my MOPS (mothers of preschoolers) group!

  4. Great lessons, Karen, and even if you DO sweat the small stuff – never leave the second part of that advice off! Laughter can heal a whole herd o’ stuff, y’know?

    Tip o’ the hat for the WILF entry, my friend!

  5. That made me smile – I remember counting the minutes until the cavalry came home too, when I had three under four, and your post brought it all back. Thing is, it isn’t always easy to spot the small stuff in a hurricane…

  6. Pingback: Happy Birthday, Dave! | A Deaf Mom Shares Her World

  7. I bet back then it was hard to imagine that young man would be away at college so soon. I have that book, read it ever so often. btw, I understand youngg Mom’s stress. I had 5 kids in 7 years.

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