Last night was shopping at Walmart (Yes, I shop there, get over it if you object.), and while meandering through the grocery area, I heard a child laughing full out in a belly laugh. I walked to the end of the aisle, and a little girl about three years old was with her Daddy. I don’t know what he was telling her, but she was howling with laughter. Those happy, bright notes of pleasure had an astounding effect on everyone within ear shot.
Grumpy shoppers, worn out and tired, bogged down at the end of the day, were busy taking care of their business and avoiding eye contact with anyone else. We were all shuffling along, automatons filling our shopping baskets, not a smile amongst us. But, when that little girl started laughing out loud, heads came up. People paused and listened. Some went to see what was going on, others just stood where they were. Slowly, smiles appeared. People started looking each other in the eye, small comments were shared, and everyone felt the world lighten around them.
While I watched the little girl and her dad walk away, totally unaware of the joy they were bringing to all of us around them, I thought that there was nothing sweeter than the laughter of a child. It quite brought back a bit of Christmas Spirit to my sad soul. Bless you little girl, whoever you are, and wherever you are. And Bless you, her Daddy, who loves your child so much and knows how to make her joyful.