Sunday, June 7, 2009

Courtesy Chuckle

In that chubby Buddha stage of life, when he could not yet crawl but was so in tune with the world around him it was hard to believe he'd ever lived in my belly, Sam loved to laugh.

Just having one of his older siblings walk through the room was reason enough to shake up his giggle box. If any of them dared stop and be engaging, it added fuel to his fire.

Crossed eyes. Manic jumping up and down making monkey noises. Hiding behind palms smudged with the days' dirt then popping out from behind them with wide eyes. Any of those activities delighted their baby brother.

But sometimes he was not totally amused. I could see in his serious eyes that he appreciated their effort but it just wasn't doing the trick for him that day.

Amusing? Yes. Slightly funny?. Okay, yeah. But deep down gut laugh inducing? Not so much.

Not one to discourage his fan club, Sam developed a humored chuckle. A slight smile crept across his face, his eyes crinkled at the corners, and a little bubble of a giggle rolled out. Not much, just enough.

Just enough to get that big kid to keep trying, digging in their bag of tricks for the next big thing. Not even close to the white water rapids of laughter that spilled from his soul and made everyone within hearing distance stop and smile. (including fellow shoppers at the grocery store) But just enough to say, "Thanks for trying. Not hilarious, but slightly humorous."

It was hard to believe that this baby, with such limited social experience, could come up with such an effective technique for prodding on his daily entertainment staff. I thought it was amazing, ingenious and brilliant.

I lovingly called it his 'courtesy chuckle."

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