My home is full of many things. Children. Medical equipment. Noise. Pets. Medications. Medical pump alarms. Syringes…so many syringes. Imagination. Curiosity. Therapists and Social Workers. Teaching. Therapy tools. Meltdowns. Snack times. Tears. Dance parties. Diapers. Messes. Chaos. And laughter. So, so much laughter.
Parenting can be the hardest kind of work for anyone. Being the stay-at-home parent in a houseful of children with complex medical needs and disabilities can add some extra angles of both the hard and the beautiful. I love my life. It’s so much of what I dreamed of for the years before I had it and I feel I am firmly seated in the center of my life calling and passion as a mama to many with multiple diagnoses. Within that calling is a little extra dose of chaos than the average household, some extra hardships, and lot of extra wonderful.
Just like any other family, we have the best kinds of days, and we have days that are just plain hard. Some days, we cry, and we cry a lot. But sometimes, that doesn’t seem to be enough.
And so, we laugh.
One child has been up the entire night, two more children awake due to a feeding pump malfunction, and as I hear yet another child start to wail down the hall, I just laugh.
When we have been in the hospital for weeks with one child while juggling about a million therapy and medical appointments for the other children and we squint out eyes and look for the village that is supposed to come around those raising a child (or 7), we laugh.
We laugh when we try to make a trip to the library and can almost hear “Wrecking Ball” blaring around us as a personal family theme song among the stares and whispers.
When everything seems to be alarming, spilling, pooping, vomiting, and crying, my husband and I look at one another and…we laugh.
When someone says something so incredibly ignorant about one of our children, we confront, advocate, and angry cry. And then later, we laugh because it’s just too crazy that people say what they do.
We laugh because our life is so over the top it doesn’t seem like it can be real some days.
We laugh because we have run out of tears.
We laugh because our hearts are light as we behold miracles.
We laugh because laughing reminds us that we are in this together, even if the rest of the world feels so far away.
We laugh because we know how much we love this crazy life we live.
We laugh because as we look in the eyes of the child covered in bodily fluids yet again or into the eyes of a little one waiting for our response after they have finally calmed down from a meltdown, we know they look to us to speak to their souls about the little things being the big things.
We laugh because we are cynical.
We laugh because we can’t contain our joy.
We laugh because we are lonely.
We laugh because we can’t contain our sorrow.
We laugh because life is beautiful.
We laugh because we are so angry, we don’t know what else to do.
We laugh because it is how we connect, refuel, and how we remember we can keep going.
We laugh because we are exhausted and delirious.
We laugh out of nervousness because we aren’t quite sure how we fit into the circles around us.
We laugh because if we didn’t, we would lose sight of the things that really matter.
We laugh because there is no where we would rather be, and the contentment runs deep.
Laughter is a curious thing that often seems counter-intuitive. I believe it is one of the greatest gifts God has given us, whether laughter fits the situation or not. Laughter truly is the greatest medicine and with it flowing so freely within my wild and wonderful home, I know we are right where we are supposed to be.
Find something to laugh about today, friend. Make those around you wonder if you have lost your mind. As you take yourself and the madness and greatness of life around you a little less seriously, you might just find that you have found your mind in the midst of it all.