I recently discovered the Secret Society of Happy People. While I don’t think I have figured out how to walk through life with the requisite joy to become a member, I’m using them as an example in my quest to learn how to be happy. One thing they suggest is keeping a daily journal of your happiest moment. Even in thinking about that, I got worked up because then I’m comparing one moment to another, judging which was happier. That won’t work for me.
But some days, your happiest moment is so clear there is no judging or comparing. It’s just right there staring you in the face. That’s exactly what happened to me tonight. My three year old decided he wanted to give me kisses. This doesn’t happen often. He’s not really a kisser. He loves to cuddle and hug. He’ll run enthusiastically into my arms if he just missed me in the next room, so sometimes my homecomings feel like a tackle.
We’ve been reading Good Night, Baby Bear the past few nights, which is one of my favorite mama/baby books, and the baby bear kisses his mama on the nose. So Cavanaugh wanted to kiss my nose, then my cheeks, chin, shoulder, cheeks, nose, and on and on. He doesn’t really have a pucker and smooch down yet, but I glowed in all of that affection. It tickled me with sweetness and I thought, yep, this is my happiest moment today—probably in a lot of days, but who’s comparing or judging? Not me.
I just took the kisses, one after another and felt immense gratitude that my son and I are so attached.
Sometimes his desire for affection and attention happen when I’m trying to get in or out of the house, be productive, or just take a moment. I’ve watched other parents do this too, especially in grocery stores. Our kids offer us affection and we’re too busy to take it.
In my post on The Five Love Languages, I mentioned that we can learn our children’s love language in addition to our partner’s. My son and I share the same one: quality time. He knows when I’m multi-tasking, even if I’m just doing it in my head. He wants me to be with him when I’m with him, present and looking into his eyes. We both feel better when I do this. Tonight, as I basked in his kisses, I remembered again that I don’t want to be too busy to connect, to give and receive love or attention.
Whether it’s your partner, child, or a friend, do you find that you’re so focused on something else, you aren’t present in your interactions?
This post is part of the 2010 API Principles of Parenting blog carnival, a series of monthly parenting blog carnivals, hosted by API Speaks. Learn more about attachment parenting by visiting the API website.