Mom, he looked quizzically over at me from his seat on the ride, why are you laughing all the time? You just keep giggling.
He didn’t mean it to be a profound question.
But it was.
This past long weekend, I enjoyed another mommy-and-me trip. You may recall, I take a different triplet on a one-on-one trip of their choosing (within reason). The time between trips varies depending on the budget. Last fall, the eldest traveled to D.C. for his trip. This time up, the baby selected LEGOLAND (with a little brainstorming support from me) in San Diego.
I’d already had to cancel two planned trips for the fall. A long-planned girls weekend to the beach in September because of Harvey and a weekend with little bit to see my dad and brother last month. All budgetary and logistics constraints that couldn’t be helped but I was ready to leave town.
He and I butt heads, probably because we’re alike in many ways, and we’ve had our fair share of monumental conflicts at home. Yet this weekend was as close to perfect as you get.
The biggest change, in me, was the ability to have fun and be silly again. I actually used to laugh all the time. I can be pretty sarcastic and I love funny people. This little man is funny too. He loves to make others laugh.
But parenting sure can make you serious.
And on top of the every day, do your homework, put your clean clothes away, hurry up and get in the car, we’d had new stressors like new parent schedules, post hurricane adjustments, and a house remodel to contend with. While I’ve always needed to work on my patience level, I’ve blown a fuse all too easily the past two months. Even when I wasn’t angry, I wasn’t exactly, well, fun. There hasn’t been a ton of laughing for the past few weeks.
Flash to LEGOLAND. And San Diego. And a cool hotel with a big pool. We couldn’t be late anywhere. We had no commitments. No one was competing for our time or attention (family or work or school). We rode roller coasters and acted super silly on our sixth go round. Played Marco Polo in the pool. Ate ice cream and apple fries in between rides in the park. I even snuck in a lunch with my college roomie (a queen of laughing herself) and a cousin of Bray’s (a queen of warmth and connection). The baby made friends with other kids while building in the Lego bins or splashing in the pool. We struck up conversations with families in line around us.
Laughing, I’ve decided, is the best medicine on the planet.
Even tonight, after a busy day and a meeting after work, all those laughter reserves guided me through the bedtime routine. Calming back rubs for little bit who melted down entirely over a missing Lego girl head (though really over exhaustion). And promises to help another and celebrate the other’s surprise tooth loss.
I needed a new reserve of joy. I got it. Laughing does that. Just restocks your joy level to 10.
There are LEGOLAND tips I could give you if you’re planning a trip. I could recap the ins and outs of what we did and when. But really, I just wanted to remind you sweet mammas and daddies out there to laugh. I’d forgotten to. This weekend reminded me the world of good it does.