Those Things

by Sheila Luecht

"You know what I mean," she said, "it is about those things that make you happy."

The problem was, I didn't know how to answer her, because I still didn't know what specific thing made me happy. After all these years I could not put my finger on it, or my hand, or my foot, for that matter. I just knew that I was happy. I was just a happy person. When I was born, no one smacked me on the fanny, because I was not silent, not crying either, but laughing. If the doctor was worried about it, he never said anything. The nurses crowded around and took Polaroids of me. They had never seen a kid with her eyes wide open and making laughing sounds. I hesitate to tell them, even now, why I was laughing. NO one would believe me. Think about it though, I had just taken the wildest ride on a slick roller coaster, that was even sound proofed and well, just plain pleasant.

That woman, who I would later call Mother, was an accommodating individual. I had that womb completely to myself. Some people have to share, you know? Anyway, she was all that, nice and comfy and I appreciated the time I got to spend there, but when it was time to go, well hot diggity!  I could not wait to get out of there, it was like on your last day of vacation when everyone else wants to stay, but you can't wait to get back to your own bed, your own food and your own sense of calm.

For me, it was that kind of moment. I got to come back. I had been here before and now, well now, I could come back. I had a chance to do it all again, bigger, better and well, just better. I hoped I could remember all that I learned the first time.

I don't know what exactly happened, could have been the Polaroid flash, but somehow I felt that some memory had slipped away, not all but some. I just knew that I was happy. So I laughed.

As that day wore on and they stuffed me into a too small undershirt, I went ahead and scoped out the room. They were shrieking because I could lift up my head already. I decided I needed to hold back on the other stuff, until they were ready for my abilities. The pediatrician came in to check me and noticed the tight constraint of the little shirt and ordered me to be changed into something larger. That was good, it was hard to laugh in that thing.

Over time, over all the years that seemed to pass too quickly, I still laughed. I laugh to this day. Once on a date at a movie, I laughed out loud. The guy who I was with thought that was great, that I could laugh out loud, with real abandon, like I was drinking in the joy of life.

I guess so.