Laughter of a child

The morning has been quite hectic.  Leaving a cruise ship is nothing like boarding one.  For those of you who have not cruised, I don’t mean to disillusion you, but once your days are up, the ship’s crew is eager to get you the heck off their ship so they can prepare for their next group.

Amidst the weary people dragging their over extended luggage (too much shopping in Cozumel!) from one appointed meeting place to each newly appointed meeting place for debarkation, the general demeanor is of exhaustion and irritation.  It’s hard to believe these people were just on vacation.

My dear friend and writing buddy, Karen, and I were amongst those tired, irate passengers.       Since we just had the experience of our lifetimes, each of us fortunate enough to have pitched our novels successfully to both agents and editors, we were not feeling irate–on the contrary, we were bubbling with excitement and plans to submit our works when we arrived back home.  But negativism is tough to battle when it comes in such mass.

After the third surly man knocked into me to squeeze past, I began to feel kind of icky too. I wanted to say something sarcastic like “looks like you had a great vacation.”  I did not say it…and I hate that I even thought it when moments before, I was flying high with excitement.

Right about that time, my phone did its lovely little ding, letting me know I had a text.  When I  opened the text, it was a short video of my 2 year old grandson, Dustin, saying Nini (his way of saying Mimi) repeatedly and giggling his little head off.  The message said, “Dustin misses his Mimi.”

I laughed as he giggled.  My entire demeanor changed instantly.  Suddenly that surly man was a sad man–and I felt bad for him, not mad at him–because he didn’t have a Dustin who missed him enough to send him a giggling text of ‘welcome home.’

Is there anything better than the laughter of a child?  I remember a commercial some years back–a Kodak commercial–with a little boy being bombarded by puppies and giggling his head off.  I’ve seen a million commercials since then, but that one can still play clearly in my mind.  I bet many of you just pictured it when I wrote that, too.

There are many great things in life, but I have watched a laughing child melt even the most formidable people.  For some reason, whether it is remembering our own children, or a beloved child of someone we know, the pure joy that bursts forth from a child is irresistible.

So, yes, I am in a happy mood again, as I should be.  I just attended an incredible writer’s conference aboard a cruise ship, I met innumerable amazing and talented people,  I have been extended the opportunity to submit some of my work for consideration…and I have a Dustin at home waiting for me.


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