Do we really want the people around us to be happy? Is it possible to let them do these things without judging them?
In the never ending attempt at organizing myself, I keep finding old journals of mine. This time, it was one from high school.
“Why does my mother say that all she wants is for me to be happy and then when I do the things that make me happy, she gets mad at me and I get in trouble?”
I was having a conversation with Ruka who has a soon-to-be-driving daughter.
“She won’t be driving if her grades don’t come up.” She tells me.
“I can’t use that one on Tyler. He gets straight A’s.”
“You know…if she flunks her Chemistry class then that means she won’t be driving when Junior Prom comes around.”
“Ruka, is it wrong that we wish for our children to fail at something so in the long run they won’t be allowed to do something potentially dangerous?”
As my children get older, I realize that I am more like my mother than I ever thought I would be. My mother wanted me to be happy. She wanted me to have a boyfriend. She just didn’t want me to have Ethan as a boyfriend. He was explosive, addictive and could have gotten me pregnant. How my mother didn’t shoot him the head with her really big gun is what I am trying to figure out right now.
So as the girls get older, the conditions of their ‘happiness’ is what’s on the table.
New shoes and jeans make the older girls happy now. I will give them these.
Polly Pockets and baby dolls make the younger girls happy now. I will give them these.
What happens when they get older and going camping with their friends is what is going to make them happy?
I know what happens when they go camping! I swear on a stack of bibles that I was just a teenager a few days ago and I KNOW what they do when they go camping.
*sidenote to my mother- I never did any of that when I went camping. Terry tried to kiss me, but I told him no. he called me a tease. I never talked to him again.
But remember that houseboat trip? yeah. well.*
I want to be happy too. I have made decisions in my life that have been horribly wrong and by the grace of God I manage to come through them with the love and support of my family and friends.
I have also made some damn good decisions in my life that have made the happiest woman in the world.
I know that when my daughter comes to me and says, “Mom, i’m not happy…I am going to do something that will make me happy.”
I will ask, “Are you going to be killing, hurting, drugging yourself or anyone around you?”
She will say, “Only a little bit.”
I will say, “Wear rubber gloves…and know mommy loves you.”
ultimately, I want them to be happy. I want my friends and family to be happy.
Can we do this without judging the actions that it takes to be happy?