It’s been a gloomier winter than I remember in years. So cold and grey, so discontent. But today the sun is shining like it means to stay, and life seems charmed.
The Littlest Who came home last night with a first place trophy for a district-wide math competition. He was the youngest person– the only third grader–on his team. We picked up cake from the supermarket on the way home, and then his brothers and I carried him around on our shoulders while Patrick played “We Are The Champions” from his computer. He got to stay up an hour late, and when I tucked him in, he was still reveling in the glory.
He slept in his team shirt, and I let him wear it to school this morning.
I thought it prudent to coach him a little on what to say when he is congratulated today (“thank you, we had a good team”), but I hope I said nothing to dampen his victorious spirit. I want him to feel celebrated–this unexpected, inconvenient, gatecrashing child, who has been the life of our party for nearly nine years.
“This is the greatest night of my life,” he said, clutching his trophy as we left the competition and walked to our car.
“For now,” I said, smiling–and praying he will say those words many, many more times.
Then I very carefully told him that if anyone asks what he plans to do next, he should immediately throw up his arms and yell, “I’M GOING TO DISNEY WORLD!” (No, really. We leave tomorrow morning.)
This morning, I am drinking my coffee and making lists with a full and grateful heart, struck by the wonder of our blessings. Our life has its share of worries and problems, but today those seem minor– small patches of ice in the shadowed far corners. I have three happy, healthy children. They have a good home and loving parents. We have all the necessities and more than a few luxuries, some material, more not. It’s tempting to weigh the good against the bad and assume that trouble must surely be coming to tip the cosmic scale. Accepting happiness is not an easy thing in a world full of heartbreak and need. There is a part of me that always meets good fortune with the thought there has been some kind of mistake, and I better keep my joy on the down-low in case someone notices and rectifies the error.
Then I remembered something my mother said to me recently in reference to me and my sister.
“You were made for happiness.”
We were made for happiness. Joy is our birthright.
What a gift those words are. What an inheritance from a parent to a child, at any age. May I never waste it, but pass it on to my own children in full.
Little darlings. Here comes the sun.
And Mama says it’s alright.