28 March 2013

making yourself incredibly happy...or not

I wonder about all sorts of happiness. I wonder what brings me joy & what brings others bliss. I wonder what makes me happy now & what will make me happy tomorrow. I am sure that when I was younger, I knew happiness: pure light filled happiness that just fed my soul and grew my ego.
Now that I am older, I have certainly not put away my childish things but I understand better, from a constructive, adult-ish point of view, that there are layers of happiness out there.

Layers as lovely as an iced cake for your birthday & layers of joy from the rotting compost of sorrow, decomposing, nurturing and fertilizing a better tomorrow.

My children are mixed into those layers. The layers of icing on the cake and the composting pile in the backyard. They mix into my own happiness. They mix into my soul and shake all those clearly defined borders of who I am and where I am going.  I know for certain they have a list of what would make them happy.
It is long, especially when you
combine all three of their wills & desires together. However, it is not only long, but certain things are so material, that I am most certain that those goods will not be on their list in a tomorrow & didn't make it on their list in the yesteryear.

The happy of the parent & the happy of the child can be so very different, and the happiness of your child seeps into your pores and the worlds of want & desire & happiness collide in a chemistry that makes parenting all so filled with days of delights and nights of misery and wonder.

My middle knows three things, right now, in the today, that would make him happy. He is most certain the happiness would last forever if he could obtain these three things:
One is the ability to read. This middle boy of mine would most certainly banish his dyslexia so he could pick up any book and read with delight.
The Two on his list would be a lizard. He WANTs this so. He is an animal lover and wants to add to our menagerie.
The Three on his list would be a sister. He doesn't know why, he just wants one. & I have to tell you that the first and the last of these things are MOST certainly the hardest for me. they speak to my soul, they speak to my own dreams & desires.  I so wish he could read. More than anything. More than my own success and my own ability to be successful. I want him to triumph academically. I want him to be able to have language & poetry fly off the pages & into his soul.
Then there is this last one want of happiness...
This number 3 on his list, is actually always the whisper at the back of my own mind & I wonder how he reached out & read what was there. 
For me it is not an easy equation that would straightforward read sister for the boys would equal happiness. Or a daughter for me would equal happiness.  Truly for me, at the very end of the day, I am so ready to plunge forward into my own dreams and hopes and happiness now the boys are a bit older and in school full time, that having a fourth child is really the last thing on my list. 

And quite frankly, a lizard IS a whole lot easier.
But, somedays, some moments of time that there is such a tug at my heart to have a girl, to hold another infant in my arms, that really I wonder if this middle boy of mine knows my heart better than I do. I am certainly NOT saying I would have another baby just to make him happy, or me happy. Really I am not. Babies don't work that way. And I am so trying to make my creative space, this space, my photos and my words into my daughter, my own child born of creativity. Yet other days, I think, it would be just as well to have a girl in my arms than to be working on the writing or the being or the creating. It would smell as sweet and as lovely as any form of happiness I have written of. So I live in this unknown, most likely forever, the unknown of what it would have been like to have had a girl; and I live there because I know I have other dreams to craft as well.

But there are always layers. Layers of happiness & layers of joy in the compost. Nothing is written in stone. Things can be broken and mended anew. Now that I am grown, I see all those layers, blurred and unwritten and crumbled and straightforward. I wonder about all sorts of happiness; and how I know that in the end, how we live this happiness out is what remains our legacy. Because our dreams that stay in our soul will drift away with us when we pass, while the ones we have carved out for ourselves are the bits of our true self that remain behind, reminding others to go into their own layers of happiness & forge their own road into the wildness of their heart. xo


  1. I think you just pulled the words out of my brain! As a mama to two boys (and I never thought I would be a boy mama!) the push and pull of the thought if having a girl is very complicated. You summed up this dilemma beautifully, I am really enjoying your blog!

    1. Isn't funny the paths that lay ahead of us & the paths that lay behind us? Never once, when I was younger, did I think I would be "raising men" but here I am. Thanks ever so much for your kind words. I think what is hard for me is laying to rest this thought of having a girl coupled with laying to rest my child birthing years. so glad you are enjoying my blog! thanks so for leaving a note! xo

  2. Gosh I love your writing, it's so moving. Plus, I'm a sucker for beach pictures so I just sat there staring for a while dreaming of the sand and warmth of the sun. I soon realized I stopped reading but found myself once again captivated by your writing. I'm so glad we found each other in the great big blogosphere. Your words are so inspiring.

    1. YOU are so kind Christie. I am so appreciative of your insight as well as your compliments. xo

    2. PPS! it is so great that we have connected in the great big blogoshpere of life! xo

  3. WOW - I just found your blog and started following. This post could have come from my mind. I have 2 boys as well and was just mulling over the reality the other day that I will not be a mama of a little girl. I am more than happy with my 2 crazy boys but it sits back there in my mind. My number 2 also faces his challenges with reading and that is so hard for me as a lover of reading. Thank you for the beautiful writing and photos. Very glad I found your blog.

    1. Oh Chey! Your words are ever so sweet. I am so glad to have written something that spoke to YOU. Having boys is ever so wonderful! I love their busy boy ways and their rough and tumble attitude, but there are times...
      There is also such a definitive ache in your heart when you see your child STRUGGLE with something that came so easy for you. Words & literature opened up for me when I was very young & we are such a "reading" family that I know it weighs so heavy, not just on me, but on him as well. He is so so very embarrassed about it too which is almost as painful for my heart. I wish I could just scoop him up and fix it all for him, but that is not the way the world works. thank you so for your thoughtful comments and your sweet notes that you have left behind. xo

  4. I like your layers explanation. Such beautiful writing Rebecca x

  5. What a beautiful beautiful post... I'm a mama of two boys (seems like there's a lot of us raising men out here! :) and very much can relate to one child who needs extra doses of attention and love and support. These little warriors though, I'm finding, are extraordinarily special in many other ways... as you wrote "there are always layers". SO right...

    1. Oh Catherine, there are just so many layers to parenting -more than I could have ever dreamed up when I had none. I often think that part of my longing to have a girl is a post modern response to the age we have grown up in. Perhaps the first time in ages, we live in a society where having a girl is acceptable, rather than taboo. So grateful that our daughters are not cast aside and treated as chattel like they once were -but then again I am probably over thinking things! Thanks so so much for stopping in and leaving a note to say you were here! xxoo


hello there! I love it so when you leave a bit of a note to let me know how you are and what you are thinking. I always love to hear about the things inspiring you and moving you through your day.

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