Everyone has a favorite character, joke, and imitation, of Robin Williams.
For me, it is in “Good Will Hunting” when he tells the story about the first time he met his wife after passing up a Red Sox World Series ticket and the comedic genius of Mrs. Doubtfire — “It was a run-by fruiting!”
It is amazing that a complete stranger can make our hearts smile and create a memory for us and our families and we have never as much as shook his hand.
In light of Robin Williams’ passing, I have been thinking of the power of laughter and how it relates to raising children.
During a well check at the pediatrician, my son was acting particularly crazy. He turned up his charm that day and was hitting on the nurse mercilessly. He put his hand gently on her cheek and told her that she was “literally so beautiful.”
After that, he continued to destroy everything in the office, a la the Tasmanian Devil. As I watched helplessly, I asked if she had any advice in attempting to curb the madness.
When I had asked this of any medical professional, they gave me a myriad of books and websites to read up on. And in my mind I was thinking, “Doctor, if I had time to read a book, it would be called ‘US Weekly.'”
But without hesitation, she told me to try humor. I told her that was rich, but mostly I feel more like screaming obscenities instead of trying a knock-knock joke when my kids are driving me to the brink of insanity. She shrugged and said, “Try making them laugh.”
So later that afternoon, my kids came running into the room with a twisted tale that went something like this:
Child: “Mom, he just elbowed me super hard in my eye socket!!”
Me: “What happened before that?”
Child: “I just pinched him in his armpit because he said that his dinosaur has prettier hair than my Barbie!”
And then trying to play detective to try and figure out exactly what happened is like trying to solve an algorithm after a night of heavy drinking.
Instead of trying to make sense of any of it, I came up with this:
“You know what? I think you should try to figure out what SpongeBob would say if one day he woke up with his pants in a circle instead of a square.”
She looked at me like I had completely lost it. Then I gave her a little “boop” on her nose and we both started cracking up. See, it’s magical.
Laughter, believe the hype.