Clown Dog! The Gift of Laughter


Serendipity is the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.

I think back to some of the best times in our family or with friends and they were and always will be, shared times of laughter. When my youngest son was about eight years old, he curled up in my daughter’s chair, before she went to bed. He took her stuffed animals that she had arranged in her chair and stacked them back on top of himself. He was stealth, like a little ninja. He did it so quickly before she went to bed that no one knew. Before I walked in to say her prayers, I heard screaming and then crying followed by laughing and him saying, “I’m sorry. I’m sorry. Don’t tell mom. Please! Don’t tell mom! I’m sorry!!!”

My daughter was terrified and he was laughing his head off, very proud of himself. Obviously, he was disciplined for scaring his sister so much. But now we can laugh at it. As he got older, he decided that it would be even more fun to scare mom. So, he would hide and pop out in random places. I would be cleaning or walking into a room and up he would pop. No matter what I tried to do to scare him back; it always seemed he got the upper hand.

He would sneak down the stairs and hide behind the couch when I was in the kitchen. When I least expected it, he would spring up and send me screaming. One night after I got home from the store, I was walking up to the house and both of my boys were hiding outside behind the trees. It was dark, as my daughter and I walked up. As we got about half-way up the sidewalk, the boys came running out at us yelling. They had been hiding behind the trees.

I froze and stood there screaming dropping my bags. My daughter was used to it by this time and just continued to walk into the house.

This went on for years. Until, one night I found a clown mask the boys had purchased to scare me. So, I decided to get the upper hand. I took the mask, put it on and messed up my hair. I got down on my hands and knees and went crawling into their room all crazy. They were immersed in a video game. So when they saw me, they both literally screamed! One threw his video game remote up in the air and the other screamed, “Clown dog!”

I laughed so hard I couldn’t breathe! I later got them again when I took our 5 foot nutcracker and set it in the bathtub with the clown mask on. When they went to pull the shower curtain back to get a shower … Wala … Clown nutcracker!

For us playing and scaring each other was a game. It was fun! I waited until the kids were older to reciprocate. But the whole thing happened serendipitously.  

There were other times too, when things would happen and I could have been upset or just laughed at it. Looking back I wish I would have laughed more because laughter is good medicine. It breaks the tension and honestly, life can be funny.

The Bible tells us in Proverbs 17:22 New International Version (NIV)   22 A cheerful heart is good medicine,

   but a crushed spirit dries up the bones

When my oldest was learning to drive he asked if he could back the car out of the driveway for me. A few minutes later, he came in almost in tears because he didn’t see the trash can and had mowed over it. His siblings were bent over laughing.

I just hugged him and laughed and told him, “Honey, it was just an accident.” There are too many of those times to recount. But I look back on them fondly when they involved laughter. Life doesn’t have to always be serious. It can be fun and it can be just be plain funny.

Even when times are hard, stressful and serious; sometimes the best thing to handle the stress is laughter. It breaks the tension. It breaks the ice. It warms the moment and it lightens the load.

Finding a way to laugh and connect each day with your child is so important. It’s so important to make time to connect with one another. When the milk gets spilled or the crayons melt in the dryer or the spaghetti clogs the drain, take a deep breath and realize this too will pass. When your favorite tree is used to make the very first bow and arrow … smile; because someday, those days will be the ones you miss the most.

The Bible says in Job 8:21 (NIV)

He will yet fill your mouth with laughter

   and your lips with shouts of joy.

In Ecclesiastes 3:4 (NIV) it says that there is …

“a time to weep and a time to laugh,

   a time to mourn and a time to dance,”

Probably, scaring each other isn’t your thing. It just happened to be ours along with a bunch of other great things, unique to our family … making those the things that stuck. What are your family's way's of making each other laugh? I would love to hear back!

This is my crew. The youngest is on my left followed by his older sister and older brother. If you missed my last blog, I now have a wonderful daughter-in-law! She is the bride and my son is the groom featured in the photo of my last blog!

Sherry Shepherd is an experienced, adaptable professional specialized in writing for faith-based organizations. She has worked as an editor and writer for newspaper, movie guides, publishing houses, churches and several non-profits. Her scope of work includes corporate and fundraising materials, advertising, web, brochures, booklets, books, blogs and biblical training materials. However, her heart is drawn to any type of creative writing, where she can motivate while conveying a biblical message and telling a story. Sherry is the mother of three grown children, who have been the source of some of her greatest joy, laughter and material!