Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tears of Laughter

            I was deeply engrossed in a late-night phone call with a friend when Celia started to cry. She’s been sleeping in her crib because the open access to freedom from the bed has been too enticing, and more importantly, the cat peed on her bed! I was so mad at that cat, but what do you do? It could have been any number of things – the cat has been sick, and wearing what I call the “cone of shame” for almost a week now.
            When Celia started to cry I gestured to Michelle to go upstairs and calm her down. Michelle gestured to me that she wanted me to go up too. I rolled my eyes and said to my friend, “Okay. I’ve gotta go. Michelle wants help with Celia.”
            I hung up and bounded upstairs. Michelle and I both leaned into the crib at the same time where our daughter was still crying loudly.
            Suddenly, Michelle said,” Celia! Have you been eating chocolate!?”
            “Michelle!” I whispered with force, “That was me!” My eyes were wide with shock. That’s the last thing Celia needed, was to go down the path of wanting chocolate in the middle of the night.
            I started to laugh. I couldn’t believe it.
            Michelle quickly tried to cover up for me. You don’t want Daddy laughing when he comes up to check on his disturbed daughter. “Daddy’s crying with you, because he feels your pain,” Michelle told Celia.
            I put my face in my hands and tried to make my laughter sound like crying. It was so ridiculous that I began to laugh all the more.
            “Daddy’s really sad,” Michelle said to Celia.
            I lifted my head to look at Celia, and then the laughter took over. Have you ever had a laughing fit, where you just can’t seem to stop laughing, no matter what you try? I haven’t had one in years. I can’t even remember the last time. But suddenly, here I was in front of my distressed daughter guffawing out of control, trying to make it sound like crying as best as I could.
            Celia quieted down and stared at me with big eyes. My stomach kept buckling huge chuckles of laughter/sobs out of me.
            Finally, Michelle said, “Daddy, I think you need to leave the room to compose yourself.”
            Tears were rolling down my face as I nodded and left the room.
            I sat in the living room and had a cathartic laugh session. After wiping the tears from my eyes and calming down, I took a deep breath and thought to myself, “For goodness sakes! Michelle didn’t need me to help with Celia!”
            Although, it’s hard to feel upset for being taken away from my friend when I’ve laughed that hard. It’s hard to feel anything but pure enjoyment. Maybe I need to do that more often!

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