But we hung around the park long enough for him to warm up to it and to wander over on his own. At first he played in the creek behind the festival. Then he played on the hill in front of the festival. (See him and Daddy Honey on the hill above.) Then he poked around near the giant puppets, who were scheduled to be paraded around later in the day.
Finally, he sat down to watch a juggler who made him laugh with funny jokes and perfect timing. He wasn't even that skilled of a juggler, but Woody liked it all the more.
It's such good stuff, when our kids laugh. We know how humor works, on an objective level: there is a surprising or unexpected mental connection made between two unrelated things, and our physical response is to smile or laugh. It's a constant among our species, and yet, it is so personal, and so real, and so damn beautiful. It is that which is open to newness inside of us, what compels us to feel and show delight, for our own health and the health of the tribe to which we belong. It is the prism that breaks us open to show every color we carry around with us.
I am so making one of these. Cardboard and bamboo shoots.
If our kids are laughing real laughter (not nervous, uncomfortable laughter), then they are open. Their minds and hearts are open. They will remember what they think and see and feel and do in those moments. Those moments are hardwired differently in the brain. It's the good stuff.