There are some things in life that make me happy. The full heart, moist eye, cup runneth over kind of happy. The kind of happy that I can draw from for days, to lighten my spirit and brighten my mood. Here are five of those things.
Holding a new baby. Yesterday, The Doctor and I went to visit a good friend, and meet her one month old baby for the first time. I’m still high from the feel-good baby fumes. His tiny fingers, his wispy hair, his hilariously adorable furrowed brow, and his new baby smell are still making me smile. Watching my husband hold a nine pound ball of human against his broad shoulder made my uterus stand up and take notice, even if that particular itch disappeared an hour later when I picked Lily up from preschool. Before I had kids, I was not enamored by newborns. They don’t really do much, and they seemed so breakable. Everyone else always fights over holding babies, so people rarely noticed when I wasn’t interested in getting in on that action. Now, armed with the knowledge that babies aren’t nearly as fragile as they seem, and a few years of baby management under my belt, I love a good newborn snuggle. New babies are the purest symbol of hope and possibility, and the smell of a baby head can have me floating for days.
Having a good laugh with friends. I’m not talking about a basic chuckle. I’m talking about the hard, bent over, “I’m definitely crying, might pee my pants” kind of laugh. I find great joy and comfort in seeing my friends happy. As moms, we are often not very playful, and I love it when we let loose, unwind, and have fun. This can be at a playdate, or at a girls’ night in, on the phone, or on a camping trip after the kids have gone to bed and we’ve invaded the neighboring campsite’s beer pong game. Hearing my friends’ laughter always makes me happy. Even when they’re laughing at me and not with me.
Talking to my brother.Our family dynamic has changed some over the past four years, but the one constant is how I feel about my little brother. We are nineteen months apart, and have always been close. Although, at times, that “close” looked like me throwing a dictionary at his head, or him putting all of his energy into unsuccessful attempts at seeing my high school friends naked. He is funny, and happy, and kind. He flips me tons of crap, and unless he’s smacking my pregnant belly because he wants “that baby to kick”, I take it with a smile, and flip it right back. Our phone conversations always put me in a good mood, and I keep all of his text messages, because they crack me up. We have running jokes, think the same things are funny, and even though he doesn’t like to read, he reads my blog. That goes a long way in my book. (That’s a figure of speech, but did you guys know? I do have a book!)
Volunteering in Graham’s classroom. I spend one morning a week, while Lily is in preschool, reading with the kindergartners and first graders in my son’s combined classroom. I sit in the hallway with one student at a time, and we review sight words before they get to choose one or two books to read to me. I adore watching those tiny shoulders hunched over a book, and hearing tiny voices sounding out new words and skillfully breezing by mastered words. The students take turns coming out into the hall for their time with me, and the last student is always my boy. There is something special about hearing Graham read to me at school rather than at home, and he loves it as much as I do. Volunteering at my son’s school is my favorite hour of the week.
Alone time with my husband. No, not that alone time, although that puts a smile on my face, too. I rarely get to spend time with The Doctor without the kids, unless you count the evening hours after the kids have gone to bed, which I most certainly do not. After the kids are in bed, I pretty much am, too. Sure, I may be lying on the couch instead of in my bed, but my brain is turned off, and I’m not in the mood to talk about anything more substantial than whether or not Uncle Si and the rest of the Duck Dynasty crew are fed their lines. When we get time alone, outside of the house, without the kids, I am reminded of the early years. Things are good now, but oh, those early years! We fell in love quickly, and we loved each other hard. It’s fun to think back to that time, and even more fun to get away from the littles and actually live that way again. Even if it’s just for a few hours. We had a night out almost a month ago, and thinking about it still makes me smile.