Tuesday, August 09, 2005


They learn early just what it takes to wrap you around their finger. And once they know the key to melting your heart they ruthlessly use it against you. We were in Dallas. Britton was sitting shirtless on the couch in our motel room eating a ripe, juicy plum. I was storming about the room complaining because my hair wouldn't do anything in this humidity, angry because Trey had talked me out of buying snacks before we left town and the hotel's vending machine just stole my only dollar, and frustrated because I had wanted to arrive at the zoo by 10:00 and it was already well after 10 and we hadn't even left yet. In the middle of my tirade Britton, purple plum juice streaming down his chin and chest, interrputes to say, "Mama, I happy." That one statement leveled me, leaving me both humbled and teary eyed. I had been complaining about everything under the sun when my son, sitting right in the same room, was just happy to be alive, sharing new expereinces with his mom and dad, eating a delicious plum. I was reminded in that moment that joy is not in controling every little detail to my liking, but in letting life unfold and enjoying being a part of that process. Britton was very aware of how his statement effected me and now repeats it on a daily basis - tugging at my shirt tail as I'm washing the dishes, cupping my face in his hands while were playing, or snuggling with me as we read a book at bedtime - he finds every opportunity possible to make sure I know, "Mama, I happy." It doesn't matter what I'm feeling - if I'm overwhelmed by all the demands I deal with as a mother and and a woman, if I'm discouraged because life hasn't quite worked out the way I'd planned, if I'm disappointed in myself for some recent behavior, if I'm greiving because my dreams are taking longer to fulfill than I'd imagined - when I hear those three little words coming from that sweet toothy smile everything changes and in those few seconds I can honestly say, "I'm happy too B."

this isn't a poem about foolishness
but about how I rose from the ground
and saw the world as if for the second time,
the way it really is.
Alligator Poem by Mary Oliver


Blogger dpsinger said...

this one melts my heart... and makes me happy, too.

7:33 AM  
Blogger STEVE said...

Very sweet & what a good looking young man! At what age do we lose the ability to find happiness & contentment in the moment? There is no clearer view than through childish eyes. I hope I can unlearn what it takes to be a "grown up" before its to late.

9:56 PM  

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