Laughter-soaked Walls

Steve Johnson, one of the truly great people in my life, once wrote on his Facebook that years of laughter have soaked the walls of his home. What a beautiful sentiment. This Thanksgiving season I’m thinking about all the fun and the love that goes on at our house and I’m thanking God for it.

I imagine what it must sound like from just outside our front door. The priceless girly-giggles when the tickle monster rears his goofy head. The ear-piercing screams and the stomping of little feet as Emily and Megan dance to the blaring sounds of Hannah Montana; two precious girls enjoying their innocent childhoods. Their worlds are filled with fairy tales, butterflies, and dollhouses — just as it should be. Walls soaked in laughter.

Last spring, my wife and I decided to brighten up the cathedral-style entry way of our house. Appropriately we chose a color called “Fools Gold.” Out came the rollers. Out went the bland, beige walls. In came a spectacular splash of brilliance.

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In the hallway leading to the girl’s room, Polly entertained the kids by painting a big yellow smiley face over the beige as they looked on, giggling with delight. Everyone knew that in just a matter of minutes, a fresh coat of gold would cover the entire wall and Smiley would be no more. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.

When the hallway was completely covered and the paint had dried, I took a step back and admired our work. Then I noticed it; if you look real closely, you can still see the outline of that huge smiley face. Two coats of paint didn’t completely cover it! At first I was upset because the job is not perfectly finished. I’ll have to sand that whole area and start over, I thought, clearly annoyed. But after reading Steve’s Facebook, I have a new perspective. Maybe the job is actually quite perfectly done. Perhaps a smiley face is exactly what should be there. Maybe it’s a perfect symbol of walls soaked in laughter.

What’s going on inside your walls? Remember that trouble is always lurking just outside the door. Fear and uncertainty are just screaming to get inside. The welcome mat doesn’t have to be out for the world’s troubles. It’s up to you whether or not to let them in. I choose to let them wait. I’ll deal with the outside when I have to.

No matter what I fall short on in life, no matter how many times I try and fail, there’s one thing I know for sure. My home is filled with peace, love, and fun…and the walls are never thirsty.

  • Darby Ryon

    The wall is a piece of building material…the laughter, smiles and warmth that smiley face will create are priceless!!! Good on you for leaving it there!!! I’m off now to paint a smiley face!

  • Grandma Grandma

    How lucky we are to have such a wonderful family!!! And we do love the laughter-soaked walls. Love you, Curt!

  • Have you read Randy Pausch The Last Lecture? The memories are worth more than”all the tea in China” as we used to say. Everytime you think of it or try to see it you will get more than your money’s worth!!

  • This is so beautiful. Thank you for recognizing that perfect walls do not bring joy. I’m so glad you didn’t re-do it.