Thursday, May 13, 2010

and yet they do: to be happy #2

It has recently been pointed out to me that you, my faithful blog readers, are only getting a very small view of what my children are really like. It is true. You will never really know everything. It is always a disadvantage of only getting one perspective. And not only do you only see things tinted from my perspective, you only get the fraction of our lives that I happen to feel like posting about. And that fraction often times just happens to be the part that is perhaps more negative, whiny and complaining. You could just say it's in my nature. I have a need to vent - and I crave support and sympathy. And my blog reflects those tendencies in the extreme. If you talked to me in real life, things might appear differently to you. But this is what it is. So please take everything I say with that in mind.

It has struck me lately how little we really know and understand each other anyway. We build our own reality from our perceptions, colored by our emotions and memories. It's such a tricky business - thinking we know someone, thinking we are somehow the same - and we never really are. Even my husband, whom I've been close to now for 16 years (and married for 12), he still does things sometimes that surprise me. And I'm surprised to be surprised by him. And then not only are we continually thwarted in our efforts to really know who someone is, just by the nature of how deeply our selves are rooted, then we are also constantly changing, reevaluating, remaking ourselves in big and small ways. It's amazing to me, actually, that we are able to maintain any close relationships at all - given how complicated we all are.

So, my kids. My point is just that I am getting to know them. Every day I am discovering new things about who they are and who they are becoming. It's a process.

Anyway - so my friend requested a blog post telling you about some of the strengths of my children and the things about them that give me joy. So here you go. Hopefully it gives you just another little glimpse into who they are. By no means comprehensive, of course. :)

1. Abigail - she is a graceful dancer, she writes great stories and poetry and has an incredible imagination, she remembers details from the past that amaze me. She is caring and values her friendships. She loves to perform and be in front of a crowd. She'll write a song for any occasion and even composes on her violin!

2. Isaac - draws intricate mazes and games, responsible and usually obedient, he likes to spend time pacing and "thinking," loves learning all about animals more than anything, he remembers details from things he reads and learns and he's very good at math (he's started in the 5th-6th grade math book in 3rd grade). I love seeing his excitement when he learns a new song on the piano and really enjoys it. (And he looks like a mini-Zac, which of course I love.) :)

3. Samuel - ah, this little boy. He has such energy. He loves to dance, and has great rhythm. He likes to "play" guitar and piano - and loves "rock and roll" music (which to him is anything fast and loud). He is curious about everything and investigates hands-on. He also has the most infectious laugh ever. When he thinks something is funny he'll just laugh and giggle and has a hard time stopping.

4. Elisabeth - she adores her older siblings, she feels things intensely, she loves to be tickled slowly, and she is brave and bold. She loves to sing songs and learns quickly. I love her insistent kisses and cuddles.

Anyway - those are just a few things.

Really, though, it comes down to this quote I was reminded of from The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin (and that's why I've put this post under the To be Happy category),

"In many ways, the happiness of having children falls into the kind of happiness that could be called fog happiness. Fog is elusive. Fog surrounds you and transforms the atmosphere, but when you try to examine it, it vanishes. Fog happiness is the kind of happiness you get from activities that, closely examined, don't really seem to bring much happiness at all - yet somehow they do."

So I know that reading all my complaints and worries and concerns and bemoanings about my children, you may not be able to see at all how they could be bringing joy into my life. It is hard to define and explain how these little bundles of troubles bring happiness. I can't even see it sometimes when I look too closely at all the stresses of my life. These little people running around and wreaking havoc everywhere may not seem to be bringing much happiness to me, if you based your opinion on the things I talk about the most. And yet somehow they do.

They do.

6 comments:

Mom B. said...

Love your post, Kristen. I am always amazed at the wonderful way you have of saying things. It's like reading a column in the newspaper .... only better. And I love that quote about fog and happiness. So, so true! Love you.

Alyssa said...

I enjoyed reading all about your kids...it sounds like they are all very musical in one way or another. I loved that quote too! Fog is just the way it is...elusive but permeating. Thanks for sharing that!

Untypically Jia said...

This is a really touching post. I agree that as bloggers we do shield certain aspects of our lives.

Very good quote! I'm adding to my collection, lol. Thanks!

Jackie said...

I love this post. You are so right. IT makes me think about what history was really like, we only ever got one side.

Thanks so much for sharing. I love your blog. Found you over at MMB and subscribed!

Jennifer said...

I do like hearing about your kids and their talents. That quote is right on. Thanks for sharing it.

Colleen said...

Great post, loved it! Even when I am totally irritated and just DONE for the day, Elijah can give me one of those big, joyful smiles of his and just melt my heart. I think those moments of joy are really what being a parent is all about.

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