Happiness — by Robin
I caught a gal on the Today Show this morning, and it got me thinking. It was Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, a new memoir in which she chronicles her quest for happiness and what she’s learned that perhaps others might benefit from.
I was immediately drawn in.
She is a mom. And, they showed a clip of her and her young daughter walking to the school bus stop. Every school day, this is what they do, and it’s part of their daily routine. One that could easily blend in with a host of other things they do regularly and don’t necessarily give much thought to. But, one day it occurred to her that this is her daughter’s childhood. And, she’ll only be a child once in her life. Time is fleeting. And the day will ultimately come when they no longer walk to the school bus stop together, and how will that feel?!
I have to admit. I’m getting a bit choked up just thinking about it.
It snowed lightly here in NY this morning, and normally I’d be a bit grumpy re: having to put on my snow books and parka, just to cross the street to the bus stop corner with Seth. But, this morning, I gave my son an even bigger hug than usual and relished the moment. It used to be that he could only cross the street tightly gripping my hand with his little fingers. Now, as long as I make sure he looks very carefully both ways, he can cross himself with me standing closely next to him, if it’s not an overly busy street.
Before I can blink my eyes, I’m sure the day will come when he charges across the street yelling “bye mom!” as I watch from the doorway, because he won’t even need me to be at the bus stop with him. Sure, I won’t have to hustle to put myself together when I’m not a morning person. And, I won’t have to hastily put on my boots and other winter attire….but maybe I’ll wish I needed to?!
It’s not that I’m ungrateful. Some days I’m just tired. Is that beccause I’m 40+? Perhaps. Is it because I’m peri-menopausal? Perhaps (since I often sleep poorly). Is it because I often feel like I’m racing the clock trying to both work from home and be there for my family? No doubt.
But, all that said. Life is “busy.” I don’t know many people who doesn’t use that word regularly when you ask how things are going for them….especially if they’re a mom. And, there are days that feel so chockfull that we might not feel particularly happy. But, I guess the point is…are we laying in wait for a certain set of circumstances that we are convinced will make us happy? Or is it just the little things that we will one day realize were truly special once we no longer have them?
I don’t want to put off happiness. And, I want to enjoy both my child and my life as a mom and woman. I’m not entirely sure what my expectations of parenting were, but even if the picture isn’t exactly as I envisioned, I adore my son, and wouldn’t trade my home life.
I’m off shortly to get a reflexology massage. It’s my new year’s gift to myself. And, I deserve it! And, I’ll be home in time to await Seth’s arrival at the bus stop. And, I’ll be glad for the pampering time I had to myself, and will do my best to revel in his return home and the weekend we are about to begin.
PS — Long Island Family magazine profile Motherhood Later in their January issue. Click below to read the article.