08 August 2011

Laughing Out Loud

It is so fun to sit down and read a book that pulls you in and literally makes you laugh out loud.  That's one of the many reasons I enjoyed In Stitches, the latest topic of discussion for the From Left to Write book club.  Dr. Anthony Youn's book was a quick read, full of self-deprecating humor (is there a better kind?) and wonderful observations about finding the true meaning for your life.

What struck me most about this book (aside from the wonderful story of comforting an infant with a respiratory ailment - what mom can't relate to that?) was Dr. Youn's amazing ability to recognize his faults, accept them, and turn them into humor.  I'm not always so willing to laugh at myself, but it certainly does make things easier!

Rolling with the punches and injecting humor where you can really is the best medicine.  My husband has always been a big fan of that approach.  Dealing with my particular host of long-term illnesses doesn't always make for the right frame of mind sometimes; other times I just have to laugh at my insane behavior (really - who is going to notice that I washed all the china for my son's first birthday party...when I planned to serve food on paper plates?).

Teaching our daughter to laugh at herself is a wholly different matter.  Kids have it tough - the pressure to fit in, be liked, be different but not too different.  It can be tough for sensitive little girls.  So when my husband threw her in the pool recently (fully clothed) we were thrilled when she came up laughing.  Five minutes later though, she decided she was furious at him, and threw an Olympic-sized temper tantrum about not wanting to get wet. Eventually it came out that she thought we were laughing AT her, which prompted a long discussion about how to find the humor in a situation, and how to laugh at yourself.

I confessed to her that it is a constant work-in-progress for me.  I let her see that I fail.  And then we laughed about it, together.

Anthony Youn's memoir In Stitches gives readers a look into the training of a medical doctor who discovers his passion is plastic surgery. As a member of From Left to Write book club, I received a copy of this book for review. You can read other members posts inspired by In Stitches by Anthony Youn, M.D. on book club day, August 9 at From Left to Write.

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