Learning to Laugh

May 7, 2010

Sorry if it seems I've abandoned my post lately. The past ten days have been unreal. First, my husband sold his truck--which is kind of a good thing because I now get to choose a mid-sized car to haul William around in. I've spent all week test driving cars WITH LEATHER SEATS! However, the day my husband cleaned out his truck for the sale, he dragged into the apartment two large saws and three Rubbermaid storage bins full of stuff he had been storing in his truck. I flipped out, especially when he suggested using the nursery closet to store the tools.

I've got news for you, buddy. I just organized the nursery closet, and it's packed to the ceiling. Good luck.

Fortunately, he managed to fit it all into his closet instead. I'm just frustrated that this place is about to burst at the seams.

Next, the TV went out. Yes, the beautiful 42" HD 1080p TV that we shelled out a thousand bucks for 18 months ago DIED. Also, the warranty has expired, and to fix the problem will cost the same amount as buying a new one. I'm not happy about missing new episodes of The Biggest Loser. I'm also not happy about spending another small fortune to replace a TV that should have lasted for years.

Know what else died this week? The childhood pet my brother and I shared: a giant tabby cat appropriately named Mr. Big. He had been a part of our family for 14 years. Two days ago, our mother accidentally ran him over in the driveway. This occurred on the same day I took William to the pediatrician, where he received his first vaccine shots. My heart broke when I heard him scream from the pain. I think I would have hurt less had the nurse instead jabbed the needle straight into my breastbone, Pulp Fiction style.

When my husband arrived home the afternoon of the flat cat/poked baby fiasco, I recounted to him William's painful day, then tearfully filled him in on the details of Mr. Big's demise. He snorted, then started laughing. Which, of course, made me laugh, too. Call it the absurdity of death.

My husband's thought was that Mr. Big had had enough of being old and living with my parents, and had decided to hasten his journey to the big litter box in the sky. We joked about the cat lying in wait for the car to back down the driveway, looking for the right opportunity to throw himself under the tires. Granted, it wasn't a bad way to go for the old fellow. Animals don't die gracefully from old age; it's a horrific process that can take days or even weeks. Mr. Big shuffled off this mortal coil in five minutes.

My depression has been bad recently, so learning to laugh at these little situations helps. I'm also teaching William to laugh. Babies can't laugh at birth; the ability is a developmental milestone that comes around the time they learn to coo. I've been on pins and needles for weeks waiting to hear Will's first real laugh. It finally came about two weeks ago when I bounced him on my knee. If I could bottle up the feeling that sound evokes within me and sell it, I swear I'd be a millionaire within a week. It's more healing than Prozac and more addictive than crack. But while Will smiles in spades, his laugh is still rare. Every day when I see his eyes shine a little brighter, I hope for the connections in his brain that will allow him to laugh long and loud, and thus shed a ray of light into my darker days.

In the meantime, I've started a second novel. This one is a fantasy. But don't fret; I haven't given up on getting the first one published. I'm taking a short "time out" to perfect my query and make some small corrections on the manuscript. Trust me: when I finally snag a publishing contract, laughing won't be hard to do at this house.

1 comment:

Betsy said...

I've been praying for you this week. I'm glad things started to look up for you again. When are you coming to visit?

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