Parents of children-with-a-disability often lose laughter as easily as misplacing the car keys.

I grew up in a fairly serious and respectable family where personal responsibility and

laughpeace-and-quiet  were highly regarded. Noisy, spontaneous or, god forbid, boisterous behaviour was frowned upon.
My father was, and still is locally-renowned for his comedic talent on stage and television, but throughout my childhood, he routinely shed that kind of nonsense at the door, along with his hat and coat when he came into the house. Strange that.

And yet, I do have a few vivid, childhood recollections of rare moments of rampant hilarity – sometimes at home – and these have tended to be more durable than other memories. I’m smiling now as I think of a few instances.

And it makes sense, I suppose. Memories being what they are.

…that snort-food-out-your-nostrils, annoy-the-neighbours laugh-out-loud thing we do…

The human propensity to find things funny is fascinating in itself; but our physical response – anything from a smile, a grin or a titter; to a chuckle, a chortle, a giggle or a wheeze; right through to that snort-food-out-your-nostrils, annoy-the-neighbours laugh-out-loud thing we do – has all kinds of deep, mysterious healing effects on our bodies and minds. Measurable effects.

Check out this article if you don’t believe me.

Parents of children-with-a-disability often lose laughter as easily as misplacing the car keys – and not as a result of carelessness. Quite the opposite.

This might not be much of a loss if wasn’t for the fact that laughter is one of those free gifts we get in life. A free gift that makes us just a bit happier and healthier. A gift that is most needed when facing life-sapping challenges day after day after day.

I wish I’d twigged to this years ago. Honestly, I could have laughed a lot more than I did. And I’d have been better for it; as would everyone around me.

They tell me that if you smile; even a fake smile… (Just do it now. Go on. Tighten the muscles around your mouth and do your best creepy, joker fake-smile)… something physically changes in your body and mind. Just a tiny change, but a real one. Or look at someone smiling or laughing. Bet you can’t keep a straight face. After that, the next smile comes a little more spontaneously.

What’s the thing that gets you laughing? Chances are it is unique to you, but it will fall into one of a handful of categories. Go looking for it today. Chances are it won’t be that hard to find. And when you do, receive the free gift of a good laugh and bask in it.

Your circumstances won’t have changed; but you will. Your battles will still be there; but you’ll be refreshed to go on fighting a bit longer. At least, that’s what I’ve found.

Love to hear your thoughts on this.