Friday, July 12, 2013

Unexpected Happiness

There are things that you expect out of parenthood. For example, you might expect that your child would have a slight temper tantrum when you won't give him a piece of candy out of the candy jar.

But then there are oh so many things, that of course, are unexpected. The tantrum you might endure, for example, when you insist that your 2 year old wear at least a diaper while he plays outside. You really aren't being unreasonable here, are you?

So, you might expect just how happy your little one makes you. Every accomplishment, every smile, every laugh. You'll find joy everywhere with this little one in your life, and that happiness is nothing short of wonderful.

You may not expect, however, just how happy your little one makes everyone else.

There's the man at the grocery store who is stuck walking behind you, for example. "Sorry," you apologize as you walk the one and only speed your toddler's feet can manage. "It's no problem at all," he smiles, "I've been there, enjoy it."

There's the adorable elderly couple at Dunkin' Donuts. They smile when they see him. "Wonderful manners," they compliment, because on this particular day your toddler decides wiping his face and hands with a napkin in between bites of a sprinkled donut is the perfect game.  "He has his moments," you tell them. Though at this particular moment, you can't seem to recall any bad manners ever. "He really is great, isn't he?" you think to yourself.

The woman at the park.

The check-out girl at Target.

The young man at the library.

You'll find them everywhere you go. Simply the presence of your little one will bring happiness to strangers, and therefore further happiness to you. Whether these strangers are being nostalgic for the past, hopeful for their future, or laughing to themselves at an inside joke that as a new parent you're just beginning to understand... your little nugget, has caused these strangers to smile.

So of course let your little one bring you happiness. But don't forget to notice the happiness he brings to everyone around you, as well. He's completely unaware he's making the world a better place just by being in it, but he's well on his way to understanding joy, and suddenly, so are you.

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