I have always believed that the best by-product of motherhood is laughter. Meeting disappointments, diagnoses, and disasters with a sense of humor has sustained me more often than not. Occasionally, I do get myself in trouble with the more serious mom crowd because gravity is very difficult for me. While I typically say the exact wrong thing at the exact wrong time, these experiences have taught me a lesson about who I want to walk alongside during this crazy journey of motherhood.
Chicago Parent contributor, Sheila Quirk, has spoken often about her life in the wake of losing her daughter, Donna, to cancer. Sheila, despite everything, chooses hope. In spending time with this remarkable mother, I also noticed that Sheila chooses something else: laughter. Whether I'm making fun of her perfect pores or asking ridiculously stupid questions, Sheila has not only mastered hope, but humor. It is a remarkable testament to her strength and character.
Then there is Deb, local neighborhood mom and the person I most want sitting next to me on the bus when I inadvertently volunteer to chaperone a field trip. Deb, like most moms, has her own struggles and challenges, but each and every day, Deb chooses laughter. For example, when Deb's son swallowed a quarter and required X-rays and constant bathroom surveillance and monitoring, Deb posted this as her Facebook profile picture for a week:
Then there were the standard first day of school photos for her children:
And naturally, Deb had to include one more:
When a less-than-stellar note came home from school, instead of wallowing in despair and assigning heavy significance to it, Deb dared you to not laugh at her bad day:
"Ben did not cooperate at all today. He kept sticking his hands inside his pants."
These are the kinds of moms with whom I love learning and laughing. With all the worries and fears that can cause us to stay up and Google all night, it is critical that by morning, there is at least one friend who will slap you upside the head, call you a loon, and threaten to cancel your internet connection.
Mom friends who laugh. They are so very important.
Find one today.
Marianne is mother of three sons and the wife of a southside Irish fireman. She has learned that sometimes you're just too dumb to know what makes you happy. She blogs regularly at We Band of Mothers (webandofmothers.com) and curses with even greater frequency. Her material is written for the imperfect, the imprudent, and the impatient mothers who know that all this stuff is really very funny if you just give it a minute.
See more of Marianne's stories here.