The First Laugh
By Reuben F. Place
In the life of every baby there is a continuous succession of first
impressions and adventures. The first tooth, the first crawl, the first
step, the first word, each mark a milestone in the child's career. But
more interesting than any of these is the first laugh—the first
genuine, sustained, prolonged, whole-hearted laugh. If it is a
tinkling, bubbling, echoing laugh, it sends its merry waves in all
directions—the kind that brings smiles to sober faces.
What hope springs up in the parents' breasts at the sound of that first
laugh! How thoroughly it denotes the future!
A hearty laugh or no laugh in later years may mean the difference
between fame and obscurity, fortune and poverty, friends and enemies.
"How much lies in laughter: the cipher key, wherewith we decipher the
whole man!" wrote Carlyle.
A good laugh is a charming, invaluable attribute. It saves the day,
maintains the health, makes friends, soothes injured feelings, and
saves big situations.
Laughter is a distinguishing mark between man and beast. It is the sign
of character and the mirror in which is reflected disposition.
To laugh is to live.
The babe's first laugh is a precious family memory. A load of
responsibility goes with it. It should be guarded and guided and
cultivated until it becomes "Laughter that opens the lips and heart,
that shows at the same time pearls and the soul."