It starts with an attitude, I think. It’s about enjoying the present, the way children do. It’s about getting silly and enthusiastic about little things. It’s recognizing the power of laughing and the art of play. I learned this from my mother, and fondly recall the long-running Don Ho jokes. It’s what I’m trying to pass on to my children. Because they are eight years apart in age, I’ve been able to enjoy this for many years. Where my children are gathered, there is a real chance of laughter and fun breaking loose. Whether we’re singing into celery microphones in the produce aisle of the grocery store, dancing the Family Fan Dance, or throwing popcorn up in the air to see who can catch the most in his mouth, laughter has really been a glue helping us stick together and stay close.
What better feeling is there than to have laughed so hard you’re crying and your stomach muscles hurt? It’s even more remarkable during those teenaged years when they're more self-conscious, reserved and don’t want to draw attention to themselves. Even during these times, I’ve been able to be silly and have fun with them, like in this picture. Grandma Diane’s house is always good for goofy props, and something just happens when you put a silly hat on. I guess that’s what’s meant by a laugh being a smile that explodes.
I used to take the lead in all this silliness, but children don’t need to be taught how to laugh. Now I follow their lead, and they’ve taught me how to play. Over the years, as I've been working hard to teach them all about life, they’ve been teaching me what life is all about.