As a little kid, there seemed like so much I couldn’t do. I’d watch in awe as my brother, who is 6 years older, went on teenage adventures that I wasn’t a part of. When you’re young you can’t help but believe those older share a secret that makes them happier.
Then I got to high school and was miserable. I was quiet, too afraid of what everyone else thought yet trying too hard to be different. I spent the majority of my days blending into a desk, willing the clock to tick faster. I couldn’t wait to graduate. To get out. Happiness has to be waiting somewhere else.
Mere months after graduating high school I met J. A few months later, we moved in together. Away. We didn’t have much at the time. It was a small apartment with creaky wood floors. There were respites of happiness, but it was exhausted by a dead-end job that I abhorred. And so began a search for a better career to make me happy.
Eventually I was awarded my own desk, where I twiddled my thumbs for hours on end. It wasn’t the best job, but it was good. I liked having someplace to go, a reason to dress up. Yet it was so quiet when I came home at the end of the day, even with J in an adjacent room. I needed whatever was missing to make me happy.
And along came my son, my first born. Eventually, my world shifted focus to bottles and diapers. When Abby and Buzz arrived, my days turned from quiet and steady to hectic and onerous. It’s not easy. Having children in and of itself did not make me happy.
But there are flashes. Like lightening cutting through the night sky. When my 4 year old, who is speech delayed, tries to sing along with a song or says “Mommy, I love you”. When my daughter cusps my face in her hands and squeals “Hi!” or peek-a-boos around a corner. The ridiculous stories my oldest shares and how he’s always trying to make me laugh. In finding them, I found true moments of happiness.