Tonight, I laughed. I laughed with my mouth wide open as heat reached my cheeks and my belly started to ache. I laughed in good company, and I noticed my laughter. It was particularly noticeable because I was captured on camera. I witnessed my own joy, and I wish I could have caught it in my hands and tucked it into a jar for a difficult day.

A Zoom family sing along helped to kick off winter break. Nana played the piano. We sang Christmas carols out of tune, unable to match our voices to the tempo of the piano notes. Let’s just say melody was lacking. But, laughter was not. You see, we decided that it might be a great idea to sing The Twelve Days of Christmas. Coincidentally, there were twelve singers available. So, we got started with assigning roles. The question was Are we each taking a verse or chiming in every time a number is in the lyrics? At first, this was a quiet thought. Each singer was assigned a number in the chat box. Then, the chaos kicked in. We were talking over each other with questions, which turned into laughter interrupting the next question. After what seemed like too long, we finally agreed that we would each be responsible for our number’s line each time it appeared in the lyrics. Easy, right?

Seven different households. Twelve different voices. A singing critic playing the keys. We were too fast or too slow and most definitely always off key. We had to pause just to erupt with laughter at the end of each verse. Each time, however, our rhythm got stronger. We gathered together to sing, but what mattered most was the laughter.

Recently, most days feel heavy as I carry the loss of my brother and pressure to nudge learners forward in a hybrid model. Tonight, however, I witnessed my own joy. I wish I could have caught it in my hands and tucked it into a jar for a difficult day.

Published by Melissa Quimby

Melissa is a 4th grade teacher in Natick, Massachusetts. She can often be found with an iced coffee and middle grade novel in hand! Connect with her on Twitter & Instagram - @QUIMBYnotRamona.

8 thoughts on “Laughter

  1. What a lovely slice of Christmas 2020 to capture. It is a scene of love and comfort and healing. As a writer, I am enamored by the use of repetition and the craft of the line you chose to repeat. It is full of strong imagery. Merry Christmas…I hope there are more moments of laughter.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Melissa,
    Your words continue to inspire and provoke deeper thoughts. I love reading your well crafted words. This was terrific. (What number were you assigned??) ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. your family was ambitious and it was so fun to hear about the chat and arguing… we had a great zoom with our kids and grand… loved that our youngest was pretty content just to shred tissue paper and chase his dogs and drop food to them from his high chair… 12 Days of Christmas is so much fun to act out with kids too! XO

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is absolutely fabulous – not looking for how you wish things to be, not expecting perfection, accepting what is and making the most out of it, being together in a new way and laughing. May the new year give you many reasons to laugh deeply and joyously!

    Liked by 1 person

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