Tag Archives: laughter

The Real Kind of BFF

This is the first in a series of birthday memories honoring the people who have made every year’s struggles easier and all the goodness more joyful!

In second grade my mom organized the very first of the only two organized birthday parties of my life
The second grade event was the typical affair with cake and ice cream; no one served meals back then
I had to bribe my friend Susan to come by promising to tell her where to sit to get the plate with the secret mark on it
There was a tour of the bakery facility for her Brownie troop the same day as my birthday party
The girl whose father owned the bakery promised she would get the most donuts, and Susan loved donuts
There is no recollection of the gifts I received or whether we played the clothespin game, but we probably did
I remember tiny red headed Maureen O’Connor crying because no one was paying attention to her
She sat in our front entryway threatening to go home, and soon I was pouting in a corner
My mom, who doesn’t like prima-donna behavior, even from a birthday girl, told me to behave and be a good hostess
Maureen won the “Guess How Many Jelly Beans in the Jar” game with my mom, oddly, very close at her side
My best friend Nancy, who also knew about me giving away the secret plate game to Susan, was sure it was a set up
When they call me this year, almost 40 years later, like they do every year on my birthday, I will see if they remember
Nancy still likes candy in big jars all over her kitchen, and Susan still loves donuts…their laughter…still the best gift!

Who Did That?

There is the hope for closeness
When they are adults and I am gone
Not standing by, suggesting or
Forcing it by demanding truces
Calling for ceasefires continually
The many verbal assaults that
Still sometimes end in giddy
Laughter over one or the other
Expelling a gaseous exchange
With the universe merrily shocking
Each others olfactory sensibility
And always the question of
Who did that? All three know
Without anyone admitting it
I smile knowing it is in these
Silly boy exchanges that their
Love is in the craziest of details


Today is my niece’s birthday
Much loved and well thought of
Tomorrow, her new age officially
Will roll across her tongue proud
In slight departure from youth
Creating a cheek to cheek smile
A week later, this step up the
Numerical ladder will make her
Pause remembering the fun
The celebration and joy attained
With this shiny new pinnacle

She can no longer use
A visual jazz hands to
Display her decade of youth
She is eleven now, this requires
Pause, thought, reflection for her
More for all of us, fondly
Knowing she will continue
Creating laughter, love, and
Even sometimes frustration
Becoming who she wants to be
Ten lovely years chasing behind

My Best Friend

My best friend and I laughing
We were seven maybe eight
My mom said the sound of it
Was like marbles falling off the table
That made us laugh harder
When there was nothing to laugh at
We would stare at each other
And force out laughter
Until again the marbles cascaded
In our giddy together song
I keep a supply of that memory
Stored safely in my heart
Like a favorite cologne in a fancy
Atomizer I spray around the room
When days get dreary
A light mist reminding me
There is a person
My best friend
Who can make laughter with me
Out of a simple desire for joy
We had no way to know
The wisdom in our easy effort
Between friends, the best kind
For 45 years, no blood or license
To bind us, just the marbles
Falling over the tabletop