Perspective Is a Happy Child

It pains me to think how I’ve neglected this blog lately (and I don’t even want to think about the other one). The truth is my brain has been so churned up (oh, that sounds gross) that I don’t think I could have written a word without sounding maudlin, which I hate. I won’t get into all that—I am not nearly as eloquent in describing those feelings or finding the good in them as some of you others out there.

My chocoholic child. After two birthdays in one week, I am caked out.

But here I am now, at 4:47 a.m., and I haven’t been to sleep and I’m nowhere near sleep. It serves me right for having too much caffeine—Coke—and too much sugar—birthday cake. Not mine, though I did have a good bit of that this past week, too. Today, November 4, is my son’s 16th birthday. For various reasons, we had the party yesterday. It was a good day. Almost everyone was here. I had time to get things done the day before, so I wasn’t stressing (ah, the perks of being unemployed—who knew?). The kids had fun. The adults got along. Some of us big kids played in the front yard. And for a change, my fudge frosting turned out perfect!

Still hula-hooping, despite my advanced age.

It’s been more than five weeks since I last posted. I am in my sixth day of being 50 years old, and I seem to be surviving. That could be the sugar and caffeine talking, but I think it’s fair to say the immediate crisis has passed. I am starting to feel more like myself than I have these last couple months. Is it because my husband has been home, or I finished my article and mailed it, or I’m getting busy with my copyediting classes? Is it because that daunting birthday has been and gone, and it really wasn’t so bad? Beats me, but I’ll take it, whatever it is.

The day after my birthday, I got most of the highlights taken out of my hair so I even look like myself again. I also decided that while I am 50, I am finally going to learn to play the guitar. Yes. Right now, it feels good to be me, and I don’t often say that. Which is kind of a shame, really. We should all be able to say that with some regularity. I think I will try to make a point of feeling happy to be me a little more often from now on.

But when I think about it, those things don’t have very much to do with how I’m feeling now. I really have to give credit to my birthday boy for the perspective. I asked him, after his party, if he’d had a good day. And after thinking for a second, he said, “I did. I really did. Things have been going pretty well lately.” He was smiling. He was happy with his life.

Happy just to be–warm and fuzzy, like sunlight on fountain grass.

What more could a mom ask for? Sixteen years ago, at about this time (now 6 a.m.), I was at the hospital waiting to give birth to my second little boy. Just as I had for his brother, I prayed only that he would be healthy and happy. And he is. They both are. My most fervent wish has been answered.

Simply put, I am happy because they are happy, and that will be true whether I’m 50 or 100, whether they are 16, or 21, or—someday—50 years old themselves.

And now…wait for it…WHOMP! The sugar and caffeine crash an hour before it’s time to wake up. No more Coke or cake for me. Jeez, you’d think by the time I was 50 years old, I’d know better! 🙂


About Jeannette Monahan

A writer sidetracked by life, with a husband and two boys who shine brighter than Arizona sunshine. Visit me at my blogs: or You are always welcome.
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5 Responses to Perspective Is a Happy Child

  1. emjayandthem says:

    “Right now, it feels good to be me, and I don’t often say that.” — very powerful words!

    I’m glad your boy had a good birthday; I think many Moms can relate to you stating you’re happy b/c they are — spoken like only a parent can say it!

    Sounds like you have lots going on .. and sometimes it’s ok – necessary really – to step away and hash things out.

    and by the way, you’re rocking the Hula Hoop 🙂


  2. bjyork says:

    I am starting to take piano lessons. i will have my 4th lesson tomorrow. as much as i love it, i get so nervous. I can’t believe i am trying to teach this old brain, new tricks. GOOD FOR YOU

  3. pharphelonus says:

    You so rock, Jeannette. Happy birthday!

  4. Hi Jeannette,
    I really get what you are saying. I am glad for your sons well being, and wish you a Happy Birthday too.

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