Happiness

Happiness

February 22, 2015

“And the women who had thought they wanted dresses never realized that what they had wanted was happiness.” East of Eden, p 387

Every Sunday we go for doughnuts. One Sunday, awhile back, when it was still a happiness to walk outside, we were at Mrs. Greens and we got doughnuts and so I decided, Sunday is for doughnuts. The doughnut box is conveniently tucked right in the back corner of the fresh produce section, so that you might not feel as guilty—indeed it’s more like a reward—for all those pears and apples and carrots and butternut squashes you just piled into your cart. The kids hop from one foot to the other, waiting, as I balance out our load with food from the earth.

The truth is, I know it’s important to eat your veggies, but I don’t really feel guilty at all about letting my kids eat doughnuts. Because Sundays are not about the sugar, they are about stability and stocking their memory banks with textures and tangibles and smells so that when they are older and sad or stuck or confused—as adults who have forgotten the thrill of splashing in puddles have a way of being sometimes—they can go back to the smell of sweet bread and racing their lime green pint sized grocery carts around while I threaten them with the loss of the doughnuts if they don’t cut it out. My hope is that one day, it will dawn on them that what they really wanted all those Sundays was me, there, and that when they see rows of cabbage and kale and spinach stacked up just like they were in that grocery store way back then, like a giant, green leafy square, that they will feel known and safe and grounded. It’s not really about the doughnuts. Well. This is fluffy bread and melted chocolate we are talking about here, so it kind of is, but not really.

Actually, the real, bottom of the barrel, truth of the matter is that I have forgotten the thrill of puddle splashing. Yesterday I texted my husband that I’m staring at my computer screen, and that trying to write and feel and make sense of it all these days is so hard I could cry. And then I did. Mostly because “these days” seem to be almost every day.

There are just a lot of things to think about, you know?—rain boots and relativity and what to eat and some people can’t afford to eat and I need to email the tax person about our taxes and why do I always feel jealous whenever I look at her Instagram feed? It’s really easy to become one of those people who secretly roots for others to fair poorly because they have what we want or look how we want to look or are doing what we want to be doing (like that person’s feed that always makes me feel inferior, I hope their kid smears poop all over that immaculate nursery). It’s easy to get into that mindset, so much so that it can be hard to then focus on any one thing else, like making lunch or putting one word down after the other or figuring out what is important and worthwhile and what our purpose is. It’s probably not voodoo dolling the very nice Instagram community.

Still. Keep going. Keep going. Keep going. Right? Right. 

I apologize that lately my writing has been full of downers and pep talks to myself, but it’s what I’ve got to pull from, I don’t know how to pretend otherwise. I blame February. So, I guess right now is about filling up, stocking my own mind and heart with textures and tangibles and smells.

And tastes. Today is Sunday. I’m going to have the doughnut with chocolate icing and rainbow sprinkles.

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