Stop for a second.
When was the last time you felt truly happy? Where were you? Who were you with? What were you doing?
It’s funny – with children, I find delicate slivers of that elated, full-to-the-brim feeling sprinkled throughout the week. I took my daughter on a “mama-Emu day” (Emu being a nickname we have for her) earlier this week: pediatrician for a wellness check and three (!) shots (!!), bagel shop for a car picnic, a haircut, the post office, then cupcakes as a reward. Amidst the moments of hesitation and the flood of vaccine tears and some plying on my part, the entire morning, I found myself glancing at her little flushed-from-the-90-degree-heat face in the rear view mirror as she narrated our journey: “Mama, are we in the city now?” “Mama, are we all the way to New York?” “Mama, why did we turn here?” “Mama, look at that big blue truck!” At one point, I looked back at her and there was cream cheese on her cheeks and her fingers were playing idly with her “Foxy” stuffed animal and her enormous hazel eyes were drinking in the whole world in enormous gulps. I thought my soul might burst out of my body. It was a near-delirious kind of happiness, the sort that leaves you laughing at inappropriate moments or smiling dumbly at the stoplight.
I feel similarly when rocking my boy to sleep, or during those unexpected moments of tenderness where he wraps his arms around me, or sprints over and takes my hand to show me something very important, like the sprinkler turning on in the backyard, or a spiderweb on a bush branch, or a plane flying overhead.
And, too, when my husband slips out of the bedroom when he first hears my son stir in the morning so I can continue to sleep, and yet I lay there, somewhere between awake and asleep, and I listen to his conversations and reprimands and laughs with our two children, and I think: this is good, God is good. And when he does those little husband things, with near-reflexive considerateness, not even out of conscious kindness, just — ho hum, this is the way it gets done for my wife! — like setting up my desk and desktop computer and new chair for me in my new office as a top priority during the move-in, and putting the non-shattered bedside table on my side of the bed (one was distroyed in transit — sob! — and he just, like, assumes that the broken one will be his), and figuring out — wordlessly — which day to take the garbage out to the curb, and bringing my glass of wine to me when I’ve left it downstairs, collecting condensation on the coffee table. And, too, when we are sitting together on our new patio after the children are down, talking about nothing and everything, the night spooling out in front of us into the still-shocking backyard, glittering with fireflies. Little dubloons of goodness that send my heart to the top of the flagpole and leave me wanting for nothing but more of him. (And one more, and one more, and one more…)
These are the little moments of glee, of near-reckless happiness, glimmering sequin-like throughout the drag and pull of everyday parenting and adulting which — let me be honest — has felt particularly leaden-footed these past few weeks, where, for example, all I need to do is empty this box into the medicine cabinet, or answer the phone call from the pediatrician, and yet there is chaos and rule-setting and cries for milk and bruises and the now-new process of defining boundaries in a now-new home. It has been a lot. Still, these tiny ducats of happiness gleam gold throughout.
Now that I think about it, is it possible to experience a full day of happiness? A full afternoon? Or does happiness always exist like this: in startling sips? I think back on a couple of fantastic trips, experiences, meals, special occasions, “golden hours,” and I feel as though maybe I’ve “rounded up” and written the entirety of the day off as “happy” when I’m certain, come to think of it, there were moments of stress or frustration or quietude tucked in there alongside the good. And what does it mean that I think about happiness as little dots along the seams of my days? What am I feeling when I do not experience that elation? Am I simply in neutral? I do not feel that my default state is on the negative side of the equation: I think that when I am not consciously sad or happy, I am sitting in a position of receptivity. Do you feel that way, too?
+Seriously tempted by this La Ligne dress, on sale for 40% off, in my size…
+This $20 dress (I own in the khaki color) was just released in even more colors!
+Absolutely smitten with this crisp and versatile white skirt.
+More cute finds for littles here.
+And — this $26 floral sweatshirt!!!
+I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I love this label maker.
+I bought mini these $25 rainboots in blue — per her request for blue rainboots — and was surprised at how well they held up! Not as flexible rubber as Hunter, but nice! And the little hooks make them easy to pull on.
+I’ve been so into Kule striped tees for the last two years — kind of want to check out Ayr’s French Fry now! Great colors, too.
+These are so deliciously dramatic — sort of like Carrie Bradshaw meets 2021.