Lucy hasn’t officially laughed yet, but she sure is doing a lot of smiling. One of our midwives told us that in her experience working with the Navajo people, there is a custom in which the first person to make a newborn laugh is obligated to throw the family a huge party to celebrate the occasion. According to their tradition, it’s considered the moment in which the baby is fully present and “in the world.”
I think that’s pretty cool.
I’ve often heard of people rejoicing over baby’s first words, first steps, and first day of school, but never have I heard a big deal made out of baby’s first laugh. At least not enough to warrant a party to be thrown because of it.
It’s a striking example of how little we value laughter in our society. If someone smiles and laughs much more than is deemed “normal,” we often start to get a bit suspicious about them. Surely they must be some combination of air-headed, irresponsible, or unhinged, right? And yet stress continues to be a contributing factor to every single thing that kills us, from heart disease to suicide. It seems like the standard operating procedure these days — especially with a lagging economy — is to trudge through life with furrowed brows and steely determination. But now, more than ever, laughter should be celebrated.
Every single laugh is a dollar in the economy of the human spirit.
Meanwhile, I am reminded about how unspontaneous our celebrations are as adults. It’s as if we’re only allowed to celebrate something if the fine print on our calendar gives us permission. Amidst the doom and gloom peddled by the media, there is so much to celebrate. Sunny days and snow days, the accomplishment of a big project at work, and milestones small (like making it to work with all green lights) and large (like making your last mortgage payment).
Our war-torn, terrorist-threatened, abortion happy, and economically sluggish world needs more laughter. When Lucy laughs for the first time, the world be better because of it. And that seems like a good enough reason to throw a party to me.
Jenna aka Chief says
Totally reminds me of that song from Mary Poppins – “I Love to Laugh”
We love to laugh
Loud and long and clear
We love to laugh
So ev’rybody can hear
The more you laugh
The more you fill with glee
And the more the glee
The more we’re a merrier we!
How true! As hard as ‘The Financial Crisis’ has been on everybody I truly hope that from it we can gain some balance and remember the true value of laughter and family. Your blog is beautiful and I plan to visit again. Congratulations on the newest member of your family and may you share many, many laughs together!
There’s also the celebration in heaven when someone repents (Luke 15:10). For that matter, that verse is the last sentence (the application, if you will) in a parable about a woman throwing a party because she found a coin she had lost! (The way it’s worded, it seems to tell me we should celebrate when we find lost coins, remotes, etc. under the couch cushions. I’m not sure that was Jesus’ point, but I’m just saying…) :)
“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15:8-10)
As Jimmy Buffett said, “If we couldn’t laugh we’d all go insane.” Rock on!
David Zinger says
I love the picture and caption. Well done.
I especially love the quote…how true it is!
Me too! Your picture and caption is a great, great way to start the week!
Ah Ha, what a most timely them on “Laughter”! You’ve hit the proverbial, all needed nail right on the head!
I think I’ll laugh at myself alot today and even more with family, friends and even complete strangers!
Many thanks for the inpsiration!
One of my New Year’s resolutions was to laugh out loud at least once every day! So far, so good. (With some credit going to Kim & Jason!!) I was going to try to *make* someone laugh every day too, but that’s a lot harder. :-/
I love the picture and your quote. I hope it is something that we will see and read in the public media. It says so much.
Just read this today. Love the quote and article. I wish we would all celebrate laughter more. I do get strange looks for laughing “at the wrong time”. It always makes me think of Patch Adams getting in trouble for being “too happy.” :0)
Shirley: Yeah, what’s wrong with you people? :)