Crying and laughing – let’s try to do both

I bet most of you spent a little time crying or fighting back tears over the past few days. If you are new to parenthood, this is part of the deal. Any tragedy to any child becomes your tragedy in a way that it wasn’t before. I have a Kindergartner. And a second grader. They attend a public school, with a campus wide open to the street. I have to keep telling myself what I told my eight year old: Something extremely uncommon happened.

We didn’t tell him about the Connecticut shootings all weekend, but decided that kids at school might bring it up and we should tell him first. Also, he typically watches a few minutes of Monday Night Football, and it seemed unavoidable. It will surely be referenced during the broadcast.

We had a very short conversation.

“Something extremely uncommon happened in Connecticut. Some kids got killed at their school.”

“Oh. How?”

“By someone who had a gun.”


“I’m telling you this because it’s very rare, which is why you might hear people talking about it.”


He then moved on to Googling “Ninjago”, and I let him.

On Friday evening, when we arrived at my dad’s house after a long road trip, my husband handed a sleeping five-year old to my sister who was waiting to see her. For the next 24 hours I could tell that bringing my kids to my parents, recently retired elementary school teachers, was a gift to them. They needed to see and hold their grandchildren. We all needed to be near them.

Today, I was watching a bit of CNN and crying, when I clicked over to Facebook and saw that a junior high school friend had posted in all caps: “POT NOT PROZAC.”  I don’t know why, but it made me laugh.  I guess at a time when we need to look seriously at mental health protocols, it was a funny status update.

We all need to laugh. Harder and more frequently. Laughing at absurd humor is good for you. I’ll venture to generalize: Moms don’t prioritize being funny enough. So I want to encourage you to go find some funny stuff. If you do, bring it back here. Check out Funny or Die or The Onion (Mumford and Sons Can’t Believe They All Got Each Other Mandolins For Christmas). Watch this video of parents rapping about maintaining their household. Check out a stand-up bit about McDonalds by Jim Gaffigan.

And if you are crying now, later, or intermittently, consider wearing this hat.

photo source: don’t panic