Saturday, September 12, 2009

Laughter


Kerrigan-the-grandchild laughed for the first time yesterday. Not the typical smile or giggle that might be gas-generated, but rather a true laugh. I had her in a little sling-type bouncy chair, and to keep her entertained, I would occasionally grab one of her feet and shake the bouncy chair gently so that the Winnie-the-Pooh-themed mobile attached to it would shimmer and shake.

About the third time I shook the chair, Kerrigan began to laugh -- a deep chuckle continuing over several seconds. Everyone in the house came running to watch.

Kerrigan was 73 days old yesterday. I suppose psychologists and neurologist can tell us about the "consciousness" of infant human beings, but I have no solid memory of anything happening earlier, it seems, than age three.

And so what is this thing that made Kerrigan laugh?

Is laughter a form of play, a spontaneous reaction/emotion akin to a dog bowing and
woofing to provoke a human to throw a ball?

I think that laughter is a form of intelligence, -- a recognition that things are a bit off-kilter, out of the ordinary, but it resonates somewhere in the self in a fashion that provokes happiness rather than fear or apprehension as might a loud sound or a frightening sight.

It was an deeply thought-provoking thing to witness, this laughter bubbling up from a human who cannot tell us what Is, who communicates through cries and whimpers when wet and uncomfortable.

Kerrigan is here, and she has found joy.
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