The best medicine

Although the inside of my car (and our hall closet) tell a different story, our lives here are organized. Regimented. Under control. We have implemented schedules and routines to moderate some of the stress and uncertainty that come with Dmitri’s job. We go to bed early, eat oatmeal for breakfast, and try to stick to our budget. I think, for the first time, we feel like actual adults. Finally, after  a few very exciting (and unpredictable!) years, we are settled. And most of the time, that’s good enough for us.

Lately, however, something’s been off.

We’ve become kind of boring. Uptight, even.

Sometimes I hear myself, robotic and nagging and forever dissatisfied, and I wonder what happened. It’s almost as if we decided that, in order to maintain a sense of order and balance, we’re not allowed to relax, or be goofy, or have fun.

But the other day, on a whim, Dmitri and I sat down and watched a movie while Lily played with her new Christmas toys. And something pretty amazing happened: we laughed. Can’t stop, almost-pee-your-pants, stomach hurting laughter that only got worse– or better– when Lily joined in.

She clearly loved that we were having a good time. Dmitri loved that– for a moment, at least– we weren’t caught up in the what if’s or the what next’s. And I loved  feeling as if the spell– the one that we’d cast– was broken.

We’re not sure what the next year– or even the next few weeks– will hold. But I do know that, regardless of what happens, we need to do a better job of showing Lily (and each other) that fun and responsibility aren’t mutually exclusive– and above all else, we need to make more room for laughter.

Especially the almost-pee-your-pants kind.


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