Laugh-Cry Like You Mean It

 I have a cousin who I love dearly but has a couple of funny habits that I like to tease her about.  One is that when she’s tired she literally can’t keep her eye open.  Yep, I said EYE. Only ONE shuts down.  The other stays half way open just enough to look creepy, and to keep an eye on the fun so she doesn’t miss anything.  Hilarious! But not the habit of hers that I am thinking about tonight. 

She also has this awesome trait we call the Laugh-Cry. She can simultaneously laugh AND cry.  We’re usually not quite sure which direction she is leaning…more crying than laughing? heading toward a good giggle?  She has taught me the Laugh-Cry is its own emotion altogether.

At one point or another we all use the expression, “I can’t decide if I’m going to laugh or cry!”  Ok, maybe some of you tough guys out there won’t admit it but most of us come to that fed-up, tired, end-of-my rope kind of place where emotion meets frustration and when that collides with ridiculous it all starts to seem kind of funny.  That’s the Laugh-Cry.

Before Christmas I was asked to present on, “How to Survive The Holidays With Your Spouse”.  There’s a touch of irony involved in this request as I find navigating the holidays with my dear sweet husband still a little tricky even after our 14th time around!  Mixing money with splitting time with everyone you love and schlepping kids over the river and through the woods, does that to a couple.   It ended being a great presentation for me to work on because I was the perfect test subject.  If I could do this, anyone could.  We did pretty well, but I’m going to admit I found myself in a couple of Laugh-Cry moments in the last few weeks.  The first one happened when NO ONE showed up to the presentation they asked me to come do at the Meijer Library Branch.  They forgot to let anyone know apparently. I texted pictures of the empty seats to my husband. He helped me laugh it off so I didn’t cry out of embarassment hauling my stuff back out of the library with my tail between my legs.  A couple of other times during Christmas vacation he got me leaning a little more toward the cry but he’s so stinkin’ funny I was somehow pulled back to laughing.

Here’s the next little bit of irony I see coming my way– I see on my calendar next week I’m scheduled to present “Marriage AND Parenting” at the Parma Branch Library. Now, I’m coming off a Christmas vacation with my sweet, precious, adorable, sometimes naughty, and a tiny bit frustrating, little ELVES, I call my children.  I love them. Also, I  Laugh-Cry at them.  They push my buttons like no other but they also are cuter and funnier than anything else I know.  So, we Laugh-Cried through the last few weeks of lessons about the real meaning of Christmas, using manners, helping around the house, NOT using the word bored, and NOT shutting your sister’s head in the door. (Really?! Should I HAVE to point this out?!) 

All this to say, sometimes I feel like I’m the LAST person who should be leading a discussion on these topics but as I thought about it, wouldn’t most of us rather talk about these things with someone who can relate and commiserate?  I don’t have all the answers but I’ve got a desire to keep trying to get it right with my marriage and parenting.  If you want to Laugh-Cry or just one of the above, we’re going to be keeping it real at the Parma Branch Library next Wednesday, January 12th from 5:30-6:30.  Don’t leave me hanging, sitting there Laugh-Crying all alone.