Moments of Happiness

Yesterday I was stopped at a red light as I waited to turn into Target. I had a hundred “to-do’s” in my head in preparation for Chanukah and a party I’m hosting on Sunday night. I was feeling overwhelmed (as I normally do as I’m about to enter the land of Target) and all of a sudden I felt a pounding beat overcome my body. My car started bouncing a bit, and I turned to look towards where the beat was coming from to see the car stopped next to me jumping on its own tires. The music in this car next to me was so incredibly loud, that literally, I could feel it in my bones. My first thought was how the hell the woman driving the car could possibly STAND the decibel level of her music and then I noticed that she was seriously JAMMING to the music. I don’t mean bopping her head back and forth or playing the pretend drums on her steering wheel. I mean arms over her head, punching the air above her, thrusting her hips (or so it looked from my vantage point), shaking her shoulders and most likely kicking her feet on the floor below her. Her eyes were mostly shut as she “felt” the music melt into her skin. And she had a smile plastered across her face. Happiness. I could feel her happiness from the next car over. I looked in my rear view mirror to glance at Luke and before his little face came into focus I saw his arms out in front of him moving to the beat and a wide grin spreading over his face. He was feeling the “happy” too. She must have felt me staring at her, gulping down her joy, because she looked over at me and without for a second stopping her dance moves, but instead adding this move to the choreography, she waved. I didn’t wave back. I barely even smiled back but what I did spoke even louder. I gave her a thumbs up. “Good For You”, is what I would have said could she have heard my words through both of our closed windows and over her insanely loud music. Good for her for allowing herself to get lost in that song, forgetting anything else that may have been on her mind that day, if even for just that one song, and feeling such obvious happiness. Who knows if when the next song came on she snapped into a snarly mood. But I doubt it. She radiated so much joy in the minute that I was in her presence to last days. And when we drove off in our separate ways, and I was left in my quiet car, without ANY music playing, just the noise in my head, I decided right there and then, that I need to find more little ways to bring little smiles to my face. I let myself get consumed by the minutia. So if I can get so many tiny things bring me down, I should be able to let the little things raise me up. I guess it goes back AGAIN to living in the moment, grasping onto the present and cherishing it.

I just got home from Luke’s gym class. A class where he more or less gets to run around for 50 minutes playing with balls, climbing ladders, and crawling through tunnels (although the “coaches” like to describe these activities as learning to throw, hiking up a mountain and going on a cave adventure… blah blah). It’s his only “social” activity in his week and although I like that he has this activity, I often look at my watch, wishing the minutes to pass so that I can get on with my day. But today, I decided to immerse myself in it. To live through Luke and the joy he portrays in each of the little activities. At one point the coach pulled together a dozen or so beach towels, put on reggae music and turned on a huge bubble machine. Hundreds of bubbles were pumping out from high above the kids as they held beach buckets up in the air trying to catch the bubbles. At least the OTHER kids did. Luke, however, stood in the middle of the beach blankets, head cocked up toward the ceiling with his eyes closed and hands by his sides as the bubbles floated down and popped on his face. With each bubble that landed on his nose, cheeks, eyes, and hair he squealed with surprise and delight. Every ten or so bubbles he’d look over at me and smile. Happiness. It reminded me of the days at camp where it would be pouring rain and we’d all stand outside our cabins and feel the warm rain soak our skin. Or when I was even littler and I’d go out in a blizzard and I’d stick my tongue out as far as it would go catching the soft snowflakes in the cold. The little things. The happy moments.
I have to let my kids reintroduce me to these moments. Without their innocence, I’m afraid I might miss them. I am certain I would not hear the airplane flying overhead unless I had Luke by my side jumping up and down pointing to the sky in amazement. I would take the butterfly sitting on a flower for granted unless I had Hannah chasing after it asking when it stopped being a caterpillar. Who knows if I’d hear the birds chirping without waking up to hear Luke sitting in his crib saying “cheep! cheep!” I wish I didn’t have to work so hard to find these little things on my own. Hundreds of them are right in front of me every day. I just have to push aside some of the “life clutter” to see them.
But again, I am promising myself that I will.


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13 responses to “Moments of Happiness

  1. Lindsey

    Becca,Thank you so much for this reminder!I make this promise to myself too, and hearing you do so helps strengthen my resolve.I am smiling at the image of Luke with his face turned up and bubbles bursting on his skin.Wonderful.

  2. Kristen

    Such lovely imagery in this post, Becca. I found myself smiling broadly at your description of the woman in the car next to you, and then again at Luke in his gym class. I really appreciated this reminder as I find myself being eaten alive by my Chanukah/Christmas to do list. Thanks for that!

  3. Shell

    The image of him standing there, with the bubbles popping on him, made me smile.

  4. Liz

    LOVE this post, Becca. Love that you did not think the lady in the car was crazy. I am so jealous of that lady. Her total lack of concern that the rest of the world could see her. I strive to be able to dance like that, in my car, in life. I can be pretty loud (figuratively and literally) but sometimes i censor myself. I'm working on it. And as far as the kids pointing it out??? Oh, boy, how often do I rush Ben along.."Yes, Ben, yes, I see the bug…yes, Ben, yes, I see the dirt…let's go! Move, move!" What a wonderful way to turn this lady's joy into a lesson for yourself, about your kids, your frantic way of living…and a great lesson for me, too. Thanks for the post. It was awesome.

  5. lemonologie

    This is a wonderful reminder to take notice of things that we so often overlook!Thanks for your visit on my SITS day the other week. Sorry the return visit has taken so long, I've been sick. Thank you for your comment that you don't iron. Now I know I'm not alone in the world – I don't either!

  6. Headless Mom


  7. Nicki

    Love it, Becca! Good thing it is not summer as I got a new CD over Labor Day – I know, pushing the summer thing – and was singing at the top of my lungs, with the windows down, to a song entitled "F*** it!" Still manage to sing it occasionally, though more quietly, as I run!Great post and a fantastic way to start my Friday!!!

  8. Nikki

    What a beautiful post. Thank you so much for the reminder of remembering that happiness is in fact in the little things, the little things that I also tend to look over. I'm at work right now reading this and tearing alittle, I've been in the place before and have been a few times recently where I have to be reminded by another, like you were reminded by the woman dancing in the car, about letting go of everything and just being happy in the moment. Thanks for being that person to me! Recently when I do my morning walk with our puppy Lealu, I've been realizing that I'm always rushing, rushing to get home so I can rush off to work, and then rushing back home, so lately when she stops and smells the plants, or flowers or grass, I just stand there and wait with her. It kinda reminds me to stop for the little things too! Wishing you and your family a magical wondrous holiday season:)

  9. Nikki

    oh almost forgot, stopped by from SITS! I'm following you now! Can't wait to read more of your stuff!

  10. Heather of the EO

    Such a lovely post, lady. I needed this reminder today. I'm grumpy 🙂

  11. BigLittleWolf

    This is a good reminder for all of us. And I can picture that woman enjoying every energizing beat of the music in her car. It's such a little thing, and can really lift us, take us out of ourselves. I've spent the late afternoon and entire evening in activities with or for my teenage son, when all I really wanted to do was crawl into bed and sleep. And I still cannot, yet (more driving duty) – and the daily tasks do pile up and wear us down.But before leaving the school event, one of my son's teachers came over to me and she lit up around my son and gave him a hug and gave me a hug and said "I love your son; I was in such a bad mood yesterday and 5 minutes with him and it was so much better."This is a teacher he's had for going on three years, daily, and will again next year. To know that the "silent kid" at my dinner table makes others laugh, and tunes in to their moods, and pitches in to help – in that moment I was so proud of that kid who is my son. In the moment. In the moment of seeing him as others see him – at ease, growing up, more outgoing, caring. Such a good moment.

  12. Aidan Donnelley Rowley

    "I have to let my kids reintroduce me to these moments. Without their innocence, I'm afraid I might miss them."So true. Our home is our campus. And our professors are very tiny and very wise.Wonderful post.

  13. Yes! This is exactly what my grandkids are teaching me. My husband and I provide daycare every weekday, and it has changed my outlook entirely. Not quite so easy when you’re the mama, responsible for so much in life, but if you can keep reminding yourself, you’ll definitely find the bliss.
    Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest! So glad I met you this way.

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