LAUGHTER in the New Year.

me & cedar christmas morning at my parents house, photo by jon-erik

All of my friends are choosing words for the New Year. A word to help guide them throughout 2010 to bring more of what they want/need into their life. I haven't had much time during the holiday craze to think of what my word was...until today.

I was remembering the day after Christmas at my parents house. We were all doing our own thing. Marmie was cleaning the kitchen. I was picking up baby nibbles off of the floor. Boho Boy and Boho Brother were reading on the couch. Daddy was playing a game on his laptop. Cedar was in the high chair finishing up dinner. The kitchen and the living room are connected in an open space, so it is easy to feel together, even if in separate rooms.

I stood up from kneeling on the kitchen floor and noticed a white napkin on the counter open and with a few crumbs on it. I moved closer and it became more clear that the crumbs were chunks of peppermint and white chocolate. I felt my head become hot and my heart started racing. I gasped out loud and everyone stopped what they were doing and looked at me. I am sure they thought Cedar had fallen from the high chair or that I hurt myself or something extremely alarming because THAT is how loud my gasp was.

"Who ate my Peppermint Bark?" I asked in pure panic, because you know...the world was about to end.

It was quiet. Everything felt slow motion. Then I saw sitting near the napkin up on a little box was the big square chunk of peppermint bark in a ziplock bag. I then squealed and I jumped up and down, holding the candy in my hand.

Then as I came out of my blissed out little girl bubble, I saw that everyone was looking at me with their mouths dropped open and it was then and only then, that I realized how totally ridiculous all of what transpired was and I started laughing at myself.

Laughing so hard that my nostrils moved up and down and tears flowed and my belly ached as I held it tight and I danced around the kitchen. Everyone's laughter followed. Mmmm...a house full of hearty laughs.

Let me explain my panic. You see...I made a huge deal out of my husband picking up peppermint bark on the way from the airport to the farm (he came a few days after me). On Christmas eve I was so consumed with loving on my family the entire night, I never ate a piece. Then the following day on Christmas, when we gathered again at the farm, I had every intention of eating some but again was being too social to remember. So at the end of the night when we all said our goodbyes and packed up, I noticed a few pieces left in the tin can it came in. I grabbed a big piece with all of my might and basically yelled out at my sister across the room "this is mine!!!" because she loves it too and she just had to share. I brought it home wrapped in a white napkin. When my mother was cleaning the kitchen, she put my peppermint bark in a ziplock bag, so that no one would throw it out.

So, now you can understand more fully my devastation at learning someone may have eaten my long awaited piece of precious peppermint bark when seeing the empty napkin!

A few days later when we were packing up the car to head back to the airport, my marmie pulled me aside and said "It was so good to hear you laugh like that. It has been a long time since I've seen you laugh that hard. It felt so good. It was one of my favorite moments." I felt a lump in my throat and thought about what she said most of the ride to the airport.

She's right. I used to laugh a lot more. I have taken myself a lot more seriously than usual over the last five years. Going through (in)fertility and then the adoption and then becoming a new mother. These are very serious things. And yes, so much joy to be had in it all but as my reserves have been elsewhere, I haven't really had a lot of energy to laugh that deeply. Or more importantly, laugh at MYSELF that deeply. I used to do that all the time. ALL. the. time.

I felt sad for my parents, realizing that it must have been so hard to watch their free spirited, goofy daughter get so serious and deep within for so long. I saw it in my marmie's eyes. That my joy is her joy and she felt hungry for it. Hungry for my joy.

I honor all the seriousness we went through. I honor every bit of it. I am grateful. I do not regret. I am deeper and wiser and more mindful. word for the new year is LAUGHTER. More laughter. More moments of not taking myself too seriously and exploring the humor in things like someone else eating my coveted piece of peppermint bark. ; )

If you'd like a space to share your words or thoughts on the new year, I am opening it up for you here. Blessings to each of you. Blessings on your hearts throughout 2010.