I'm pretty sure that I can now pinpoint the moment in my life when I laughed the most genuinely. It will sound like nothing to you but I'll try to describe it anyway.
Baby J was bawling her eyes out coming up the stairs to Sarah & Linsey's apartment (we ARE a rather frightening bunch) where ironically we were planning to celebrate her 3rd birthday. And even though D, our friend who sells candy and other wares downtown & J's mother, promised her a million times that "mommy wasn't going to leave her behind" she hung onto her with a champion's grip. As Linsey and D chatted I slowly set up all the barn animal figurines that Sarah keeps at the apartment for just such visitors. I made sure not to look at J so as not to intimidate in anyway. I just set up the animals in front of her on the coffee table hoping it would help her feel more comfortable. I walked away to do something in the kitchen and then came back and sat by the animals on the floor. I picked up the cat and said "meow", then the pig "oink", then the cow "muuu", then the duck "cua cua" (that's quack in spanish, if you were wondering) and so on. No audible response but the look in her eye told me she was interested. I walked away again, you know, to keep the suspense levels high & let her think about her next move if I decided to play Old McDonald a second time.
I sat down again and picked up the cat. "meow". Stare. "Meow" (a second time). Stare (unbroken). One of the adults asked me a question so I got into the adult conversation. A few seconds later I turned to make another go at it only to find that unexpectedly and quite stealthily J got the bunny (don't ask how he got mixed in with the barn animals) and had it two inches from my face. As soon as I turned towards her she bopped the bunny at me and let out the most adorable high pitched real sounding "MEOW". So I did the only thing I could think to do. "Meow". And the bunny meowed back. And then, where there were tears and suspicious eyes, a smile broke free and then, more assertively now, the bunny said "MEOW".
And then it escaped, the most genuine laugh I have ever laughed. I felt it come out of my heart, well up in my soul, and then spill out into the room. And then again. And again with every little squeaky "meow". I just couldn't help myself.
And that's it. I told you it would sound like nothing. But i guess that's what makes it so incredibly special. To me, its a moment I will never forget.
Here's to many more moments of genuine laughter for you and me and everyone we know. Cheers.
"One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes."