Who is the happiest person you know? What is their secret?
The happiest people I know are my kids.
Huh. I’m not really sure that sunk in the first time I read through it. The happiest people I KNOW are MY kids. My kids are HAPPY! Yeah! I’m totally giving myself a pat on the back for that.
The baby is happy. She is cuddled, warm, fed, clothed, bathed, completely taken care of by… us. She feels loved. She doesn’t need external things to make her happy, she just is a part of the family. My 3 year old is happy. She has toys, her favorite TV shows, plays with puzzles, looks at books, and focuses her energies on growing and learning. Extra chocolate, please. My 6 year old… well she’s happy when she’s home. I don’t know about school. Her teacher says she frowns a lot. We know she’s bored. We know the bus ride is bad when there’s a substitute driver. She doesn’t enjoy all her time taken up by school, but she’s very happy reading, spending time with her family, and asking us questions. She’s rarely unhappy until she realizes she’s ‘out of time.’
So I think what I can learn from this is… their secret? Is doing what makes them happy, learning and growing, without account as to what anyone else wants them to do. When they teach themselves and follow their own path, that is when they are their happiest. Baby learning to walk? So proud of herself, and huge smiles. Three year old drawing letters ‘in the air’? She wants to show us over and over again! Six year old with big dreams? She shares them with questions, growing her stories, her thoughts and her horizons.
I know as adults we can’t always get everything we want. But they’re little. And for now… that’s enough.