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Mom's Time Out

Humor has amazing power

Mary Angel

(7/2016) Humor can often times make a day brighter, lighten a heavy mood, or put a smile on the face of a sad friend. Humor has amazing power to do good. Humor when it comes in the form of teasing another person is never a good choice, especially for children. As adults we can handle, even embrace, a comical knock on one of our many idiosyncrasies. Children on the other hand can be negatively affected by this kind of mocking. Humor can be the best medicine. Humor is very diverse in its delivery and its interpretation. Humor is funny (pun intended).

My fourteen year old make jokes all of the time. He actually went through a period when he ended almost every sentence with, "Iím just kidding". It got to the point when we had to sit him down and explain that no one is kidding that much. We also had to get him to understand that the phrase he was using didnít excuse what he was saying. In other words, just because you realized you hurt someoneís feelings or said something that wasnít received well, doesnít mean all is forgotten when you say it was a joke. If a joke hurts someoneís feeling whether intentional or not, you still need to apologize. Then he started telling actual jokes, unfortunately we didnít get them (and neither did he). At this point we got him a couple of kids joke books and cautioned him on using words he didnít know the meaning of. You will be glad to know his humor has greatly improved, to the point that he can make us all belly laugh on command.

This brings me to my girls, my emotional, hormonally charged girls. These two can go from laughing out loud at one anotherís jokes to stomping out of the room because something was said to hurt their feelings in 10 seconds flat. When this happens it is like Armageddon in my home. The wonderful laughter I heard coming from their room is a sudden memory covered up with the phrases, "She hurt my feelings" and "She was mean". The worst part is that the same jokes that are causing pain were the ones being laughed at only seconds ago. Alright, maybe it doesnít always happen that fast but the combination of girls plus humor is much more likely to equal disaster that the same equation with the boys. Those few minutes of all out laughter, though, is absolute music from Heaven. The girls are at an age when the laughs from them can make my heart smile.

My oldest son, I am sorry to say, has acquired way too many of my attributes. Including but not limited to my sense of humor. Donít get me wrong we both love to laugh and can be made to do so fairly easily. However, we donít always realize when someone is joking. We also donít understand jokes that are at the expense of another person. I guess we are all about the underdog. He is an old soul with a nostalgic sense of humor. We often comment that he should have been born in Frank Sinatraís day and he agrees. Being an old soul, he loves a good "Knock knock" joke or a "Why did the _____ cross the road"! Taking after his Granddad he also is a closet Three Stooges fan.

My husband has always been the "funny" guy. No matter what the situation he is the one we can count on to lighten the mood. He knows when I have had a bad day the instant he sees me and immediately he is making some joke or doing something completely dorky to make me smile. Even when the last thing I want is to laugh or even crack a small smile he has a way of breaking down my defenses until suddenly without realizing it I am laughing. He has actually gotten in trouble when I am fuming about something and he is making me laugh. Sometimes I need to be mad and he canít stand it. I love that about him. I especially love when he makes the kids laugh. He too has been ensnared by the hormonal females in the house when he is trying to be funny. I remember when he teased my 9 year old about what she wrote in my motherís day coupon book. She had written, "I will not hit". He thought it was a hysterical motherís day gift. She hasnít lost her temper and hit in years and years so to him it was so irrelevant that it was funny. She was so embarrassed that she started crying. Sometimes humor can hurt, even unintentionally. He apologized and they talked it out and it was fine, but he also realized that he had joked about it a little too much and had hurt her feelings.

Finally there is me. I have been told by my husband that I am hysterically funny when I am pregnant. I guess that means that I have been funny four times in my life. I have also been told by some people that I am one of the funniest people they know, but in specific circumstances. The bottom line is I am funnier when I am nervous. When I have to speak in front of people I get more and more nervous and apparently more and more funny. I have also found when people start laughing I just keep going and then I am also considerably funny. For the most part though I am just your average person when it comes to funny.

Whatever your sense of humor, whatever you find funny, keep laughing! Laughter really is the best medicine. Be cautious when your humor involves belittling other people, but when you are brightening someoneís day or turning someís frown upside down, then count yourself lucky!

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