It’s considered poor taste in our society to gloat about success, to allow repeated surfacing of a good-luck inspired grin, to trumpet joy. We seem more comfortable when people say they’re “fine” or “hanging in there” or when they shrug off their day as better than a stick in the eye.
And collectively we seem to have a superstitious sense that tooting our happiness horn will make it all come crashing down. The spectre of the jinx often keeps us mum about satisfaction.
But I can’t hold back, dear readers. Things are just going really well over here at The Naptime Looney Bin.
You know this blog as a repository for the snarky, the sneering, the angry rant of a woman barely hanging on. My days are often bumpy: four parts joy, fourteen parts status quo, and seventy parts hanging on by the skin of my teeth.
But for this moment—this lull in the roller coaster I’ve come to accept as normal—most moments are quite pleasant.
Though it will change, Peanut is being a remarkable little creature. Kind to his brother, polite to me, reasoned in his debate, logical in his requests. Funny. Creative. Spirited. Dare I say: himself.
Though it will change, Butter is silly and adorable and interested in everything, which makes him quite fun to be around. This morning he even signed to me that pulling Mommy’s hair hurts and that biting Mommy’s face hurts. Yes, dear boy, it does. Glad all the repetition is having effect.
We’re moved into the new house and it’s amazingly wonderful. We all seem happier and calmer in more space. I’m nervous about coming school changes that spurred the change of address, but I’m not panicked as I once was. We chose the best possible public school for Peanut. And if it works, we’re set. And if it doesn’t, we have clearly identified options and changes and whatnot.
And aside from the temperamental groove we’re in, big and (semi)permanent changes are afoot. My clever and delightful nieces are home. They’ve moved 3,000 miles and are nearby. I watch them now with that casual easiness borne of the knowledge that I’ll see them next week, too. No need to memorize their faces, their voices, their interests. They’re here. That alone would have set my mood for the year. I have two perfect boys and two perfect girls and their every joy is my only real job.
But there’s more. I have located a babysitter, whom I will pay a bit of my retirement savings each week to gently and thoughtfully play with my boys for two hours twice a week so I can get some work done. I will edit a project this week. I will edit my book next month. I will finish my journal submission next month. I will submit it all for publication by June and move on to other projects that have been boring holes in my brain and soul for a year. The worms of creative and intellectual projects eating me alive will get to wiggle their way out.
It feels that for a moment the tide is out. I can see the waves, see the shore, see the intersection of the two. I can gaze off toward the horizon without a white-knuckled fear of the undertow. I can absorb the ebbs and flows without feeling bodily pounded by surf. I can hear and taste and feel the water and salt and air and sunshine.
I can breathe, y’all. And when everything changes and the tide comes back in, I hope I remember how to be this way. Because I’m spending my days practicing this feeling. This joy, this calm, this near-constant tiny grin. And this breath.
I wish you all moments like this. And not in tiny blips. I wish from now until any realistic milestone of your choice that you can watch the ocean and just be. Come on over and stand with me. We’ll watch together.