I have noticed something about the people here in Mexico – they have this habit of laughing in the face of hardship. Their smiles are despite their problems. They laughter echoes the loudest when life is at its hardest.
My son, who has Asperger’s, struggles with this. Why do they laugh when they are hurt? Why do they laugh when someone fails at something they are trying? Why do they laugh when things go wrong? They laugh because that’s their culture, I tell him.
Maybe the better truth is that they laugh so they don’t cry.
I love this. My son does not. It is hard for him to understand that they are making the big things small, making the failures in life seem not so important. They laugh together so that they can show their support – they can say, I’ve been there before and I know it sucks, but we’re here for you.
One of the things I have always loved about my husband is how he has a way of making all the big things we call taboo because they are “huge” seem small and not worth the energy or power we give them. For instance, getting old. He has this way of laughing in the face of aging – in a way that makes you realize it’s unimportant and that you only grow ‘more’ with time, not less. Or, dying… he makes jokes all the time about it like, “Are you dying?” (with all seriousness in his voice, when you get sick with the flu), or “Do you think you might die today?” (when you are coughing) I am learning that he was born with that in his blood – the ability to laugh in the face of what life hands us.
Maybe I too can learn this, and teach my son how to laugh in the face of life!