“It’s not fair,” she said. “We don’t say it’s not fair, sweet girl,” I responded, “we say I’m happy for you.” “No fair, no fair,” she tried again. So then, did I. Turning her little head to the side, she seemed to drink in my words, or maybe sip them a little, deciding if she would keep them in or spit them out.
“I’m happy to you.” She finally said. And I laughed, yes, yes, I’m happy for you. “No,” she said, “I’m happy to you.”
And just like that, she has me thinking. She is two and a half. She has dark hair and eyes, but the air around her is filled with light. Sometimes I swear that she sparkles. She is the baby that I thought would undo me. And yet, I find that she builds me, builds our family, into what we should be.
I’m happy to you. It’s so simple, but true. Isn’t that the way happiness is? I’ve talked about it before, how and why we practice saying that we are happy for others, even when they get what we think we wanted. But this time, I find that she is the one teaching. This little dimpled beauty is leading me.
Doesn’t it require action on my part, to truly share in someone else’s happiness? Don’t I have to allow myself to move, or at least shift my heart, from burdensome jealousy to emancipating joy? It does not come naturally to me. I still find myself stomping inside, petulant toddler that I can be, angry at all the unfairness (I think) I see.
I say it often. I try to rejoice with others, and most of the time, I actually mean it. I am so happy for you. But maybe it’s time I do something about it. Maybe it’s time I meet you there and truly share your experience with you. Don’t worry, I won’t suddenly start inviting myself to your houses for celebratory dinners. I promise.
It’s just that, maybe there’s more. Maybe we can all be happier, together. And not just happier, but less alone in our grieving.
Maybe it’s late, and it’s been a long week, for reasons I couldn’t possibly have foreseen.
But, I still think she is onto something. This little wonder has taught me so much about life. She has held my heart in suspension, since the day I met her. I love her more than I thought I had left in me to love. And I think I had better heed when truth speaks.
There is so much that I don’t know. Big picture speaking, I have maybe a corner of a corner that I can clearly see. It’s a corner filled with orange sunsets and azure skies, where right and wrong war, and the truth refuses to back down or hide. It’s a place of rejoicing, of laughter and singing, but also a place that knows too much about grieving. I have seen kindness, in it’s resplendent robes, but I have also seen children’s eyes fill with terror when they hear the name of their mother’s boyfriend spoken.
I can see in my corner so much good in the world, and it keeps me going, when the bad tries to cover it with it’s dark, muddy waters. I have witnessed grace, and longed to be a part of her story. I have seen sure things fade, but also, so, much, beauty.
I don’t know what you know, or how things look from your corner. But maybe meeting in the middle is the only way we will find both the rest of the picture, and each other.