God gave our family a little dancer. Her name is Emily Frances. I don’t know where it came from. She hasn’t even seen a ballet yet.
“Sit down, Mama. Watch me dance,” Emmy sometimes says.
So I do. She bobs and weaves and spins and arches her arms over her head gracefully. I bought her a pink tutu to go with her butterfly wings at Christmas. Our little dancer, not yet carrying the weight of the world, sometimes adds singing to her performance. She makes up funny songs of her own. They make perfect sense to her. Sometimes she sings about the sun and clouds and the sky, about monkeys and puppies, and then she throws in references to Jesus loving her. She usually ends with “So Let the Sun Shine In” or my own love song I invented for my babes long ago, “I love you more than the wind can blow, I love you more than the sky can snow, I love you more than you’ll ever know…”
Watching our daughter, I wish to myself that this sunny child would never have to have her heart broken or have some joy killer tell her that her dancing is “dumb” or all the things other kids hurl at you once you hit the real world. What Emmy brings is a merry heart to our home. You can’t watch her for long without smiling and chuckling over some new pearl of wisdom. (She informed her pediatrician recently that no, she does not eat grapes because they are a “choking hazard.” Needless to say, the doctor was surprised!)
When Tom’s sister and her husband were here at Christmas, as usual, they brought a lot of laughter. I sat back and listened to the conversation that frequently rolled into the past. My sister-in-law, her husband and Tom all grew up together, attending the same schools from grade school onward and the same church. There was so much laughter. There is nothing like that sound. It really is a healing thing.
We forget to see little things sometimes. We get so used to grizzling into our corn flakes over the struggles in our lives that laughter can seem far away. That’s when God’s provision of others who make us smile is a great help. Have you ever known someone who walks into the room and it lights up? (And I don’t mean as in detonation!) These personalities are a gift to us. It’s not that introverts don’t bring gifts to the human race. But sometimes you need someone to mess up your hair and say, “Hey! Don’t look so serious.”
Once, years ago, Tom and I were mulling over some new catastrophe and were so bowed down with care we were just sitting in dejected silence in the car. I suddenly opened the car door, scooped up a handful of fresh snow and tossed it at him. He did the same, and we had a good laugh. Kick the gloom. Mess up somebody’s hair or toss a pillow at them. Laughter does good like medicine, the Bible says so. Life is short. Don’t let joy killers ruin it!