So I’ve been writing this blog for a few years now and in it I’ve talked about our journey with Nolan, the ups and downs of being a Heart Dad, I’ve offered encouragement and all that good stuff…but it’s occurred to me that I haven’t spoken once about a superpower that lives within all of us Heart Dads. Is it super strength? No. Super speed? God no, I run like a drunk sloth. Intelligence? My high school math teachers will tell you otherwise. No, the superpower we have is…
THE DAD JOKE.
Now that the kids are all relatively school-age, this power has begun to manifest itself in my household, in the car, in the grocery store…heck, wherever. Much to my joy and my kids’ chagrin. My oldest, Hudson, is usually on the receiving end of the Dad Joke(s) and the resulting cackling that follows them, often to the point where I’m coughing from laughing at my own joke. Sometimes I spend days focusing on a theme…lately it’s been pirates and it’s been like this:
Me: Hudson, where does a pirate grow his vegetables?
Hudson: I don’t know.
Me: In his gARRRRRRden! *laughs loudly*
Me: Hey Hudson! Why does a pirate like reading magazines?
Hudson: For the articles.
Me: NO! For the ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRticles! *laughs louder*
Me: *singing loudly* In the naaaaame of looooove. Before you break my heAARRRRRRRRRRRt!
And on and on. I cracked up just typing it out. So what’s the deal with me writing about Dad Jokes?
May is Mental Health Month and while it’s coming to a close, I really wanted to write about it since mental health is so important for us as Heart Dads. And you know what? Laughter is actually really really good for your mental health:
It Makes You Happier: I mean, duh…I’ve never seen a cranky person cracking up laughing. It can instantly lighten your mood.
It Releases Good Hormones: when you laugh, you release dopamine and serotonin, which make you feel really good and helps battle things like depression.
It’s Good for You, Physically: laughter burns calories! Now hold up: don’t cancel your gym membership…it’s not a ton of calories, but it helps nonetheless. So laugh away!
It’s Good for YOUR Heart: listen, we spend a lot of time focusing on our kids’ hearts, which is of course very important, but we need to pay attention to our hearts too! Laughter helps with blood flow, which is really good for your ticker.
It Helps You Be More Social: laughing with someone or a group of people always makes you feel better and develops a special bond and relationship with is so helpful for our mental health. Whenever I get together with my best friends, we tell the same stories and laugh til our sides hurt, every single time. And I wouldn’t trade that feeling. It always makes me feel good and I love them for it.
So Dads, get out there and drop a corny joke, or three…laugh…make others laugh. Watch a funny movie, fire up Netflix and catch a standup comedy special. Anything. Just laugh. We deal with so much heavy and serious stuff that I think this is the first to fall off…don’t let it. There’s an appropriate time and place for jokes and laughter and I trust you to know when that time is…and when that time comes, don’t be afraid to use your superpower to make others – and yourself – laugh. Do it for you…because a better you is better for everyone else!
I also realize that not everyone who is reading this is in a place where laughter is possible or appropriate. You’re going through some difficult, heavy things and you’re just taking it day to day. Please know that I understand and that I support you and any of my friends who read this can reach out to me for a supportive ear. Please know that I have a lot of other posts on here regarding mental health that could help you:
Stay strong! You’re not alone.