Our family came together to cheer for my daughter as she ran her first half-marathon a few weeks ago.
We've been known to be "not invited" to my niece's high school shooting meets...
Apparently the contestants prefer quiet while aiming.
So, we lined the trails around Deception Pass as the runners made their way through trees, up and down steep hills, across the breathtaking bridge and along the scenic coastline.
It was a challenging course.
We had fun signs and since other people were running by, we cheered for them as well.
Some of them laughed,
Some of them said, "Thanks!"
Some of them high-fived,
All of them smiled.
I took a break to do a little beach combing (I found a bit of sea glass and an agate in case you wondered).
From the beach, I heard my family talking and laughing and cheering as runners went by.
Their voices echoed over the beach.
I rejoined the happy group.
Our voices traveled over the water and up to the trail where my daughter heard us before she could see us.
Our laughter spurred her on.
My daughter said that other runners asked her if we were her family.
She admitted that yes, we were. (I can't tell you how thankful I am that she actually claimed us.)
They appreciated our loud raucous encouragement. (And we do a killer "wave")
They rocked it.
I retreat to the rest room.
By myself, in the quiet of the "loo", the sounds of the house echo through the halls and under the door to where I sit.
What do I hear?
My family loves to laugh.
It echoes in jumbled conversations peppered with chuckles and hilarity followed by gasps between guffaws.
I can't make out a single word but the laughter needs no interpretation.
I finish my business and wash my hands and listen.
I always hesitate to re-join the fun.
Because it's like a favorite song I don't want to end...
I dry my hands and smile.
I love those people.
We don't always get along, or see eye to eye.
There's no harm in disagreeing.
But when we spend time together,
We always laugh.
We laugh at stories, at idiosyncrasies, at each other, at ourselves.
We poke fun, we play tricks and we tell jokes.
And in the laughter is the love.