Holding onto Happiness

The two’s maybe terrible, but the three’s are thrilling. I have a plan to become very rich – if only I can figure out the mechanics of bottling up what my daughter has – pure unadulterated, untarnished, untainted, unspoilt wonderful joy. She’s richer than anyone I know… from her first smile in the morning, through her endless high-pitched (not always perfect pitched it has to be said) singing, to warm and gorgeous hugging and “I love you mum”’s, to cuddles and imaginative playing that has me mesmerized, she is a joy to be around. It’s like I’ve struggled through the tunnel of early motherhood and she is the light. Even her emotional outbursts are funny, so sudden and overwhelming, as if life is all too much for her little body to contain sometimes.

Yesterday, on St Patrick’s Day, the sun shone and we had one of those perfect family days out with all the best ingredients – ice-cream, carousel rides and lots of fun. I took a moment to stand back and watch this little piece of joyous jumping energy that never seems to stop smiling, singing, or entertaining, and I wanted to stop time. She is perfect this very minute – old enough and independent enough to be full of character and busyiness, and young enough and needy enough to have absolutely no sense of pessimism or gloom. I am her world and her world is tickled pink.

I want her to hold onto her happiness for ever, and not let anything dampen those dazzled dazzling eyes that see everything through rose-tinted (princess) glasses. Although I’m a fairly upbeat person, it has to be said I can do grumpy old cow very well. I hate things that don’t work; have spectacular tantrums over my computer; I curse everyone from the designers of children’s toy packaging, to those inconsiderate people who park – a two seater sports car – in parent and child parking spaces; I moan about this and I wail about that. Admittedly I have a few more worries that should I watch Dora the Explorer or Upsa Daisy… but still… I need to start emulating her, before she starts emulating me.

As she sings constantly – despite the daffodils and new lambs declaring Spring has sprung – “Jingle Bells, Jingle bells, Jingle all the way…” I realize she has a point. So much better to jingle than to jangle. I’m holding onto her happiness too.

About Grin & Tonic by Alana Kirk

Bouncing into middle age armed with courage, ambition and a pair of tweezers (chin hairs for anyone over the age of 45 reading this) I am a writer with a mission: to redefine this midway point in my life when the last thing I want to do is hang up my high heels and become invisible. This is the end of the beginning, not the beginning of the end. A single mum to 3 fabulous girls, an author, and a fundraising consultant, both ends of my candle are on fire. As I enter this new stage of my life, I want to explore what it means for 'mid-aged' women today, who were promised they could have it all, ended up doing it all, and just do not identify with the traditional image of middle age.
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