Yesterday, Zachary asked me why I do not laugh very much.
I did not know what to answer. I thought I was the type of person who laughed and smiled a lot. Now, my child tells me I am not. I know sometimes I suppress laughter so that his whirlwind of a brother does not see me laughing at his antics. But I did not realize I had become a person who does not laugh.
Is it just his perception? I don’t know. I know I have greater joy in my life now than I have ever had before. I am a calmer, more balanced person. I am less angry than I have ever been and it feels good.
But, do the people around me know it? Has my joy come at the expense of expressing mirth? Does my husband know that he still makes me smile, despite the minutia of everyday life? Is he seeing those smiles?
I am far more patient with my kids than I was a year ago. But do they know that I, too, have a sense of humor? I don’t tell dirty jokes anymore; I have cut out humor at the expense of others; I try to be less sarcastic. Has motherhood made me less funny?
Have I lost something that was so very much a part of me? Have I traded in my laughter?
Or maybe, just maybe, the child was wondering why I don’t dissolve into hysterical laughter every time he or his brother puts a bowl on his head and pretends its a hat. It’s entirely possible this was just the first of many times my kids will wonder why their mother does not have as refined a sense of humor as they do. Bring on the fart jokes.