162 – June 11
“Every time one laughs a nail is removed from one’s coffin.”—Honduran Proverb
Perky Lindsey wasn’t her usual bubbly self at the family dinner.
“How is your term paper coming along?” her mother, Jane, asked sympathetically.
“Oh, it’s really hard!” Lindsey exclaimed. She looked like it was hard too, poor haggard dear. A sophomore at UCLA, she was embroiled in all the challenges of academic diligence sandwiched between sorority parties, dances, and general fun.
Her older sister, Marissa, had just graduated from UCLA and was happily at work as Strategic Sales Coordinator at a sports radio station. Although she clucked her sympathy, you could tell she was feeling a bit smug.
Picking up on this energy, Mama Jane decided to have a little fun. She turned to Marissa and asked, “How many papers are you working on, Marissa?” “None!” she replied gleefully.
“And how many finals are you studying for?”
“How many units are you carrying?”
Everyone laughed at this exchange, except Lindsey, who looked quite put upon. She struck back immediately: “How many hours are you working, Marisa?” she asked sweetly. Gotcha! we chorused; we all knew Marissa was working a lot of overtime in her new job.
“I love my life and all its rich rewards!”
Not to be outdone, Marissa shot back, “How much money are you making, Lindsey?” Oohh, good answer, good answer the family nodded.
“I don’t need to make any money! Mom and Dad are paying for everything,” smiled Lindsey.
Zing! The joke had rebounded back on the one who started it. “Ouch!” Mama Jane winced ruefully. We all dissolved in laughter at the good-natured repartee.
Touché, touché for both girls. Life passages have their upsides and their downsides. Dance gloriously then pay the band. Enjoy each passage with humor and grace.
I have truly been blessed in this life by my wonderful family. We get together all the time, and every gathering is full of joy and laughter! We always celebrate family June birthdays together (my sister Jane was born on the same day as I was three years later and we celebrate Carole’s with ours since she was born on Christmas Day). Delightful!
Once someone asked me if I wasn’t unhappy that I didn’t have my very own birthday to celebrate, and I looked at her in surprise. It had never occurred to me. I always relished our mini-Christmas half-way through the year. Group celebrations are so much fun!
When I was growing up, watching “Leave it to Beaver”, “Father Knows Best”, “The Donna Reed Show”, “Ozzie and Harriet” and other family sitcoms of that ilk, they so completely mirrored my family life, I thought everyone’s family was like that.
It wasn’t until I went away to college that I realized that not everyone loved their parents, not everyone’s parents were wonderful, and not everyone lived on a street full of families that were just like mine. As I grow older and know more of the world and it’s traumas, angers, and disappointments, my sense of grateful blessing deepens. Because I know this safe harbor of my dolphin family has enabled me to grow and jump for the stars and surround myself with other like-minded dolphins in my growing family of choice on this planet.