April 21-Mom’s Birthday

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I love making my mom laugh. It’s harder to do than you might think, not because she’s grumpy all the time. In fact, the opposite is true. It’s only tough for me because I’ve been such a goofball my whole life. My mom’s used to me being stupid and weird, which is right in my wheelhouse, so my normal antics don’t usually work on her. I’ll get a grin and chuckle, but not much else. But when I make her actually laugh, it’s a huge victory for me.

She doesn’t laugh like other people do, with perhaps their heads thrown back or knees slapped, but still somewhat functional as people. No, my mom looses all control, and that’s probably the best part. When she’s full-on, unabashedly laughing, she can’t speak, she can’t open her eyes, she can barely make a sound because she’s trying too hard to breathe and keep herself from tearing up. And as with any good laugh, there’s the first wave that comes from what was actually said or done, then there’s the second wave that comes from everyone else laughing at a funny and infection laugh, which is even better and more fulfilling than the first one. With my mom’s laugh this could go on for a while as we all react to her laughter, which makes her laugh more, which makes us laugh more, and so on and so on.

Like I said, she’s immune to my normal idiocy, so when she gets to this point it’s time to celebrate. High-fives are shared, shouts of victory are screamed throughout the neighborhood, and joy is in all our hearts.

This is the essence of my mom. She is a joyful, lovely and giving person who tries her best to bring that joy to other people. She’s normally a very measured person, not outrageous or outlandish in any sense (which makes me wonder how I got this way, but that’s for another day), but calm, considerate, helpful and compassionate. That’s not to say she never speaks her mind, which she’s given me a piece of on numerous occasions, just that in a loud and unruly world, she is gentle and peaceful.

I have given my mom more than her fair share of grief over the years, but she continues to show the kind of love and compassion only a mother could. I hope I can always give her the joy and laughter she’s given me. I love you, Mom. Happy Birthday.

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