Momservation: Happiness is realizing you’re happy—and it didn’t take much at all.
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You know those moments you mentally snapshot and then hope your brain has enough back-up memory to always keep it and not accidentally erase it trying to make room for just one more picture?
I had one of those experiences this weekend. A beautiful if-I-died-right-this-second-I-would-die-happy moment.
What was most brilliant about it was the simplicity of it. Realizing that when it came down to it, it really didn’t take that much to make me blissfully happy.
Let me share my snapshot with you:
It was an overcast lazy Saturday afternoon. The clouds smelled of rain but refused to deliver on its promise. The dark day made it easy to give into a nap—no clothes that needed to be folded blocking retreat under the bed covers.
I turned on the electric blanket and snuggled in, anxious to continue reading Kelly Corrigan’s new book Glitter and Glue that I had eagerly started in line at Barnes & Noble. I loved her first two books The Middle Place and Lift and I knew I would love this one before I even read a word. She is my people. This woman who also puts her family before all else—I feel it’s kismet we have the same name. Kelly makes every mother who picks up her books feel like they would be fast friends. And man, can she tell a story that makes you laugh, cry, go hug your kids and go call your mom!
On this day Hubby had also given himself permission to leave the chores for tomorrow, curling up next to me, eyes closed, on top of the covers—his way of signaling that this giving in to non-activity was temporary.
The dog hopped up taking her position at the foot of the king-sized bed on top of the blanket that was meant to keep her hair from getting all over the comforter. Darby curled up on the blanket that was a physical symbol of futility, having no problem with a mid-day nap.
The surprise guest was my daughter, Whitney. Climbing in between me and Daddy she still would not admit that staying up all night for a sleep-over was probably not her best idea. But when you get a nearly thirteen year-old to curl up with her parents for a nap it is concession enough.
It wasn’t long before I was lost in Kelly’s tale of the bond between mothers and daughters when I felt Whitney snuggle closer, balling up tighter to try and get warm. With three sleeping bodies pinning down the covers I got up to get a blanket to cover the ones without fur. I smiled at the involuntary sigh from both indicating that was exactly what that nap needed.
I was getting pulled deeper and deeper into Kelly’s book when I felt a delicious warmth enveloping me. I knew it wasn’t just from the cranked electric blanket on an overcast winter day—only the patters of rain on the roof making me feel cozier. I snuggled into the sensation, believing it to be the rush of a good book, marveling every time Kelly found the perfect written brushstroke to illustrate the combined beauty and complexity of motherhood.
It wasn’t until I heard the simultaneous snores of my daughter, my husband, and my dog, causing me to giggle, that I pinpointed the source of my warm glow.
It was pure happiness. Masquerading as an ordinary lazy Saturday.
I quickly took a mental snapshot before I missed the moment. Physically it looked like a family curled up on top of each other like a litter of puppies.
But I knew every time I pulled out that picture to remind me what happiness looks like, I’ll also be reminded of what it feels like.
It’s a good book. It’s a warm bed. It’s someone to share it with. It’s a cozy, cloudy, lazy Saturday with for once nowhere to go and nothing pressing to do. It’s knowing even though I was missing a teenage son to complete my snapshot of happiness, I was still happy because I knew he was at his happiest when off playing with friends.
It’s a deeper happiness knowing I could have what I thought was it all: the nice house in the nice neighborhood with the nice car; the good schools, the right zip code, a Whole Foods down the street. It’s the smug satisfaction of knowing having it all is really a family snuggled in bed beside me.
It’s a soothing happiness because as my babies are growing up and pulling away creating a panic inside me that it’s all going too fast, for one moment time graciously hit the pause button. It’s the sleeping features of a blossoming beautiful woman who for one afternoon shifted her priorities and chose her parents over her friends. It’s still seeing a baby snuggled in between her Mommy and Daddy—symbolic that despite all the world has to offer her we will always be her sanctuary.
This snapshot is better than any of the 921 pictures I have stored on my phone.
I feel like I need to thank Kelly for being the location scout for my personal snapshot of happiness. If I hadn’t been welled up with emotion from reading her book about the significance of mothers, like a teenager with their nose stuck in their phone missing out on real life experiences, I might have missed the significance of the moment I was in.
And it was a beauty.