April 9, 2013

What Happened to the Man Who Got Everything He Ever Wanted?

The three happiest people I know
I complain a lot.

I could tell you that it's because I have ample things to complain about, but that isn't it. It's that I am finely attuned to the minutia that has any potential to bother me.

I complain about my busy life, my occasionally thoughtless or absent minded husband, my neurotic family, an ingrown toenail... anything. Everything. I complain.

DD "sweeping" in opera gloves and SI... planking

But recently, not quite so much.

Something magical happened to me a few days ago. I was watching RH pulling toys out of the toy kitchen, with DD and SI coloring on their easel. They were carefully picking up every dropped crayon, thanks to a neat little ditty I made up for them. "If there's a crayon/on the floor/RH will find it/and put it in her mouth." It's catchy. And they were singing it, picking up their crayons, and occasionally looking over at their baby sister to grin and coo, "Isn't that right, RH? You silly baby!" She laughed and laughed, and returned to her minor destructions.

I drank a cold pop and breathed slowly, committing the scene to memory.

DD hanging out with RH

When I was DD and RH's age, I knew I wanted to be a mommy someday. I knew I wanted to grow up and take care of little kids.

As I got older, I had other things I wanted to do. I still have other things I want to do. But whenever I contemplated parenthood, I imagined having a house full of little girls, about three or four years old. Playing dress up, singing songs, dancing in their pretty little dresses.

I imagined bigger kids looking out for their little siblings, and hugs, and kisses, and everybody happy.

And so, here I am. I find myself at the bottom of "hug piles," or the recipient of wet, giggly baby kisses at no notice. I am the eternal supervisor of the three happiest children I have ever known.

SI monster and DD robot
Yes, it's occasionally chaos. There are days I just want to hide, days when I have a headache or feel overwhelmed or just can't arbitrate disputes over crappy cheap plastic jewelry any more. But more and more often, I find myself simply observing the three of them and feeling... happy.

Not just happy, though. It's a different feeling. It's pride and success and something more.

I don't feel like I deserve to feel the sense of accomplishment that comes with just watching my children play. But it's there. Each time RH moves another foot forward instead of rolling side to side, every time DD tells me she's "girl Superman" and that she's fighting a monster, every time that SI "fixes" her toy sink with M's Mjölnir, and every time one of them tells me how she wants to be like me...

DD and SI washing RH in the tub

It's narcissistic, but it fills me with intense joy. With pride beyond words.

Watching them play, standing back and letting them just... be kids together...

It's incredible. It's magical.

Watching RH watch her big sisters and mimic them, and then when she catches my eye and just grins at me...

Motherhood has never felt so gratifying.

Life has never felt so perfect.

M chasing SI and DD through the snow

And life is not perfect. There are still serious problems around here. Money problems, employment problems, health problems...

But life in general? It's amazing.

This is what it's all about. This is why I had kids. Watching them lose their heads with delight because their sunflower seeds are sprouting, because they sounded out a written word, because you walked into a room at just the right moment.

I don't know if I will ever be as happy as I am now.

I have everything I ever truly wanted from life. I am utterly, completely, and constantly enveloped in love.

It's always something over here...

It's an incredible feeling. Knowing that I am living in what I will probably look back on at the end of my life as the happiest I have ever been. The happiest I will ever be. The years when my life was pretty much perfect.

No matter what happens, no matter what changes... my life will forever be better because of this. Because of this incredible, magical, perfect time.

My three girls, playing together


  1. :):) i knew the moment i saw Lovie that she was what life was about for me. and i've never felt differently... only more alive. tired, but alive. ;) my grandmother, who recently passed away, LOVED her family. her four children, her 12 grandchildren, her dozens of great-grandchildren, her handful of great-great-great grandchildren. her life was her family. it's why she hung on for as long as she did. anyway, i just really love this piece and wanted to let you know that. :)

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