Have you seen those commercials for insurance (or something) with the laughing babies? I love those commercials. And seeing one the other night got me thinking, that almost everyone says a laughing baby is one of their favorite sounds. James Lipton gets that answer a lot on Inside the Actor's Studio. It's pure; it's elemental; it's the sound of undiluted joy.
What gives me pause and delights me about it is the eagerness in the participation. Babies don't laugh at complicated jokes involving a priest, a rabbi, and a talking dog. No, a baby thinks that you crinkling a paper bag and saying "woobie woobie" is the funniest bloody thing he has ever heard and the coolest bloody thing he has ever seen and pleasepleaseplease do it again, because it never gets old. Like never. OMG you did it again.
That requires something rather miraculous. Think about it. How does a five month old baby know what's funny? He or she probably doesn't. Or, and I like this answer better, he or she knows something we don't: that it's not about what is or isn't funny, but about the joy of just letting things be wonderful and going with it. Crinkly the bag again! Lower the face-cloth and say "boo" again! Make that face again!
Babies don't laugh for just anyone, either. My impression, when I watch those darling commercials with the hysterical little tykes, is that mom or dad is the bag-crinkler-boo-maker. And when you are lucky enough to witness a tipping-over-in-your-huggies laugh, the kind that comes from the toes and bubbles all through the house in rolling waves of silliness, it's not a stranger initiating the launch sequence. Baby is in hysterics because somebody he or she LOVES is involved. Which is yet another facet of the awesome factor, isn't it?
That small person is looking into the face of love and participating in an exchange: I'll trade you my laughter for the joy it brings you. I promise it will be a riot no matter how many times you do it. Keep looking at me like that and I can find a bottomless well of these incredible, soul-elevating, miraculous giggles. They're for me, yes, but they are also for you. This is about us loving one another and becoming giddy with the magic of that love.
It really does make you stop and think that life gives you what you look for in many cases. And that joy, happiness, contentment are choices. It's funny because we want it to be, feel like a good laugh, need a little silly. It certainly can be.
Miracles are so often very, very simple. Isn't that wonderful? I could laugh out loud just for the fun of it.
So what's your favorite sound? If James Lipton were sitting with you and asked that question, what answer would pop into your head immediately? I gotta go with the babies, baby.