I’ve laughed more this week than I have in a long time. More times than I can count. And it isn’t been the short kind of laugh. It’s the laugh till you have tears running down your face kind. The kind I usually save for those occasional deliriously tired late nights when only my man and I are still up.
We have been on vacation. Well, my man’s company closes their doors for nearly two weeks for Christmas and New Years, and he gets to be home for that time. We save vacation days during the year, and look forward to doing all of the great things the holidays bring. As the break neared we counted the days. Three days before the break, my man got the flu. And a few days later all four kids joined him. His didn’t last more than a few days, but the kids lingered. Our anniversary on the twentieth was spent passing out thermometers and Tylenol to kids; much of Christmas Eve and Christmas day were slept right through by most of the kids. I was really feeling the stress. Caring for sick kids was not really how I had planned to spend our vacation.
It’s turned out great though. Starting Christmas evening, kids started feeling better, and we broke out the Yahtzee game. Energy levels have taken a long time to come back. In fact, nearly a week later, they are still taking naps and going to bed early. We scrapped all of our plans to go places, and have stayed home all week. Nobody wanted to eat, so I didn’t cook. They didn’t move around or take much out, so I didn’t clean. (I did do laundry. A lot of laundry). We did play card games and board games, build with Lego’s and Knex, fix doll hair, play more games, crack jokes, make faces, and laugh. We all laughed.
I am not a laugher. Is that a real word? Anyway, I am definitely the serious one here. Maybe it was the stressful week of being nurse instead of doing all of the Christmas festivities. Maybe it was the smaller load of work once the fevers were gone but everyone was still laying around. I think it was a case of finding the simple pleasures of being together without expectations hanging over us.
The laughing was fun. It was infectious. It was filled with jokes that we will remember and laugh about for years to come. It was something I don’t want to leave behind as we get back to routine later this week. I found joy, great joy, in just being with my family. It turned out to be a beautiful vacation, and I am so thankful that God opened my eyes to the joy of laughter in the simple things. It was a gift, my Christmas gift to myself, to let loose and laugh. Not just chuckle, but whole heartedly laugh to the point of tears. Often.