Chapter 24. The Best Medicine: Laughter Is Critical for Any Family

Out my kitchen windows, I could see the sun slide lazily down the evening sky like a pad of butter across a hot griddle, coming to rest behind the trees near my home. I love those quiet moments of beauty and predictability; in some ways it's comforting to know that I can depend on the coming and going of daylight and dusk and the turning of seasons.

Muffled chatter floated in from voices in the other room. I poured a glass of wine and took the bottle to share with my friends, heading into the living room and settling into a cozy circle of leather chairs. The conversation began with regular pleasantries, football picks for the fall, college recruiting practices, jokes, and easy banter. Soon enough, my son Matt joined us, looking all handsome and grown up, and it brought me back to his childhood and all the many fun and spontaneous things we used to do.

"Matt," I asked. "What do you remember about growing up? What's one of your favorite memories?"

Without a second's hesitation he looked up and declared, "Food fights with Grandpa."

"What?" our visitor chuckled. "Tell me about those food fights!"

"Well, we would go over to Grandpa's house for lunch on Sundays and have Kentucky Fried Chicken," he began. "And usually by the end of the meal, he'd be flinging drumsticks and dinner rolls at one of us. Either that or he'd load up his spoon with mashed potatoes, pull it back, and launch it right in someone's face. That was Grandpa." ...

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