Laughter and Surprises

When I heard the garage door open, I started down the stairs.

They had been gone a while.

My husband and son went to the barber shop and the grocery store.

This was the first time someone other than his father cut the boy’s hair.

I wanted to see the results.

But there was more.

While I treasured a morning alone with the baby, I missed the guys of our family. I was glad they were home.

Plus, I figured my husband would need some help getting the groceries inside. Or rather watching the almost three year old while he brought the groceries inside. Children his age are nothing if not helpful.

As they walked in the door, I was waiting.

My son called my name happily and flung himself into my arms.

The hood was up on his sweatshirt, so I couldn’t see his hair.

I reached my hands up and pushed the hood back.

Felt the shaved area near his neck.

So big.

And yet still so little.

He smelled of some foreign tonic and his favorite pretzels, the ones I knew he opened in the car as they left the grocery store.

As I hugged his little body close, he laughed.

“Mama, we got you a present!,” he said, dancing away.

His hair looked short. Not too short. But like a little boy. Not a baby.

His dad chuckled and reminded him, “Boy, that was supposed to be a surprise.”

But I wasn’t really surprised—this weekend was our wedding anniversary.

And they had been gone too long.

My husband often takes our son to buy presents.

Dad and son, off on their missions. Discussing the merits of various presents. Plotting together.

And always, always, the boy shares the secret as soon as he sees me.

He’s incapable of not telling a story.

Any story.

And so he kept talking.

“Mama, I went to the camera store!”

I felt my laughter rising to meet theirs.

Big rolling laughs, the kind that make my stomach muscles ache from their intensity and pureness.

The kind that, for a couple months, seemed lost to me.

I missed those laughs, more than I even knew.

“Mama, I saw lots of cameras! I saw a pink camera!”

I welcomed the laughter back a couple weeks ago.

And now, as my son spoiled his father’s surprise, my laughter just kept coming.



I knew a pink camera wasn’t my present—I have a new camera. But I had an idea what they might have bought. And that wasn’t really the present they gave me that mattered.



16 Responses to Laughter and Surprises
  1. Alison@Mama Wants This
    April 29, 2012 | 9:50 pm

    Ooh, exciting!! Can’t wait to hear what it is :)

    Laughter is good, always good.
    Alison@Mama Wants This recently posted..This Is About Blogging . . . Sort OfMy Profile

  2. Life As Wife
    April 29, 2012 | 9:55 pm

    Glad you have found your laughter again!

    I hope boy keeps you laughing!!!
    Life As Wife recently posted..Every Little BoyMy Profile

  3. Runnermom-jen
    April 29, 2012 | 10:34 pm

    Aw, glad to hear you’ve found your laugh again.
    I’m curious to know what the pink thing was 😉
    Runnermom-jen recently posted..Running is my Super PowerMy Profile

  4. Kimberly
    April 29, 2012 | 11:22 pm

    So glad you could find your laughter again!
    Kimberly recently posted..What Else Could Go Wrong?My Profile

  5. Jessica
    April 30, 2012 | 1:26 am

    I love how quick they are to spill their secrets. It’s why I never take the kids clothes shopping with me. 😉
    Jessica recently posted..This Summer Will Be Much CoolerMy Profile

  6. Kir
    April 30, 2012 | 7:35 am

    I remember the first time I really laughed after the boys were born , the moment I let it all sink in and wasn’t afraid anymore (at least in that moment) . It was so freeing and so I know how you felt. It wasn’t the surprise, it was something about you family being themselves and being “there” , it was the little moments we talk about all the time…the “stuff”. When you find that it’s pure JOY.
    Kir recently posted..The Boys Being EnoughMy Profile

  7. Jessica
    April 30, 2012 | 2:58 pm

    I love this. You have such a talent for bringing us right there with you. Those big boy hair cuts are tough aren’t they?
    Jessica recently posted..The Last Day of AprilMy Profile

  8. Elaine
    April 30, 2012 | 4:40 pm

    I just love it when all my guys go off shopping together, too. So sweet. And I can picture that little boy head, not a baby but still little. Perfectly true…

    Elaine recently posted..This weekend & MEMMy Profile

  9. Jennifer
    April 30, 2012 | 6:32 pm

    I, too, feel like my laughter has just started to return. And I didn’t realize how much I missed it. But it’s like when you’ve been holding your breath without realizing it, and you finally get a release.


    Stopping by from MEM. :)
    Jennifer recently posted..Brushing DreamsMy Profile

  10. Julia
    April 30, 2012 | 9:38 pm

    So sweet how he can’t keep a secret.
    Julia recently posted..Why We WalkMy Profile

  11. christine
    April 30, 2012 | 10:55 pm

    Wow how I love this. Beautiful, beautiful, post.
    christine recently posted..The ChaseMy Profile

  12. Adrienne
    May 1, 2012 | 8:12 pm

    So sweet! What did you end up getting? I can so relate to wishing for time alone and then not knowing what the heck to do with it!
    Adrienne recently posted..By Grace Alone.My Profile

  13. Lei
    May 2, 2012 | 1:00 am

    Aww, that was cute! Laughter is the best medicine also the best exercise for the belly! Sweet post!
    Lei recently posted..Mall play area, not the best place for (some) kids after all….My Profile

    • MamaTrack
      May 7, 2012 | 10:54 pm

      Thanks–it was a nice moment for our family.

  14. That is such a sweet story. And I’ve noticed that your photos have been just outstanding lately. That’s such a worthwhile passion and will mean so much to you when you look back and you aren’t relying on cruddy iPhone images for your memories :-)
    Jennifer @ Treading Water in the Kiddie Pool recently posted..Love Poem for a Beach BabyMy Profile

    • MamaTrack
      May 7, 2012 | 10:47 pm

      Thank you! I’m working hard on the pictures. And having fun with them too.

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