Learning to Be Happy- Monday February 20th

Hazel began life with a very mild, relaxed expression.  She cried when she needed help, but other than that she seemed sort of contentedly aloof. As she got a few weeks older, she started opening her eyes more and studying us.  I pretended I wasn’t worrying that I wasn’t measuring up to her expectations.  ”I’m usually much funnier than this,” I would say as we stared at each other “you’ll see, when I get a good night’s sleep I’m so funny.”  Hazel would blink passively.  Another week or two went by.  She stuck out her tongue, I started to actually enjoy breastfeeding (it still hurts like hell though).  Her staring started to feel more concerted.

Then she smiled.  A day or so after that she smiled and squealed.  Another few days and I figured out what made her smile.  It’s seems like Hazel had learned how to be happy.

This was the moment that I really didn’t understand would happen: the moment when I finally realized that I have a whole new life ahead of me.  Watching a child arrive on earth with a personality really makes you reconsider your own life and experiences.  Happiness is something you have to learn and practice, even when you’re too young to work or have heartache or worry about making car payments.  There are a few times in my life when I felt hopelessly unhappy, and I decided to change.  I forced myself to smile more and accept invitations and after a few weeks (maybe it was months, maybe even years) I was a happier person.  But it took work and practice, and watching my daughter go through her first phase of learning to be happy is exciting and scary.  I hate to think of the days where she lays tangled in dirty sheets on a crappy college bed, pressing the snooze button 36 times until she has safely missed all her classes and can spend her day smoking cigarettes, eating Mr Goodbars and watching Blind Date.  I can’t stand to think of the first party she doesn’t get invited to, her first disappointing grade, her first broken heart.  Hopefully she can help me gain some perspective so I don’t go on a murderous rampage the first time she has hurt feelings.

Hazel and Tom and I are in this together.  Seeing how much Hazel does on her own make me breath a little easier.  She and I can be partners in her happiness.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. Kathy Miller says:

    Wow! Hazel is beautiful, and yes you are right, your life has been irrevocably changed. You will continue to see things in this new light as you go on to grow alongside Hazel. God bless you both. I know you have many Irish Mulroy eyes smiling down on you! Much Love.

  2. Frank Grimes Jr. says:

    You can really put into words how it feels to see a little infant start to grow into a little person!

    Please keep the updates flowing.

Speak Your Mind