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A Balanced Life: Sense of Humour - a Family Narrative

Sheri asked her mom and dad, “Can you help me find something I seemed to have lost?” Her mom and dad looked at each other and giggled. Dad said, “You bet we will help you.” Mom added, “Since you turned twelve last year, I don’t recall you losing anything, what is it we are looking for?” Sheri looked puzzled, “That’s what I am trying to figure out!” Dad laughed out loud, “Well, it’s kinda hard to help you look for something you lost, when you don’t know what it is Sher…now, before you freak out, I am not laughing at you…it is just a funny situation and likely more common than you think.” Mom sat down at the kitchen table, “Well, shall we try and figure this out together…” a little rhetorical, “How did you come to know that you lost something?” Sheri sat down between mom and dad. “Well, I had this feeling that I don’t have something I had before. The last 2 weeks I’ve been trying to find it.” Dad turned to Sheri, “This feeling you have, is it like butterflies in your stomach or aching somewhere else?” Sheri looked up at her dad, “more like aching in my chest and sometimes a headache.”

Mom responded, “We really need to figure out what we are trying to help you find.” Sheri a bit annoyed, turned to mom, “No shit mom, isn’t that what we are doing.” Mom ignored the scolding, “What if it’s not something tangible?” Sheri, still looking at mom, “what the hell does that mean?” Dad decided to lean into this, “Well, sometimes people lose their way, for example…” Sheri was now facing dad, as he added, “…or feel like they lost a part of themselves.” Sheri felt the aching subside a little. Surprised she said, “That’s it daddy! I’ve lost a part of me.” Mom excitedly said, “okay….which part are we looking for then?” Sheri turned to mom and smiled, “I don’t know!” She giggled a bit and mom responded, “You know what…I have not seen that smile or heard that giggle for a long time…” She took Sheri’s hand, “…and I really miss that.” Sheri looked like she was struck by lightning, “That’s it mom!” She threw her arms around her mom and hugged her dad. “Thanks guys, I’m going out on my roller skates for a while.” Dad looked at mom, a bit puzzled, "Did we just solve that issue?" Mom was smiling, "Nope....Sheri did!" Dad looked a bit confused, "What am I missing here?" Mom was eyeing him, leaned into him and whispered, "She lost her sense of humour...get it?" Dad's brows furrowed, "We could have told her that a year or two ago." Mom laughed, "Yes, but I think it is way more powerful when she has that 'Aha' moment...we just helped steer a little bit in that direction." Dad cocked his head, "I've told her a dozen times that she used to have a sense of humour....I did not get a 'thanks dad' reaction." Mom simply said, "It is never helpful to try and 'tell her' something about herself...we just need to guide her in the direction of realizing who she really wants to be."

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