Are We Ever Genuinely Happy for Someone Else’s Child?

I will call this post a ‘Mommy Moment’ and you can decide if you agree or not…

The other day I was at a store and overhead a little toddler counting. She had beautiful flawless skin, big bouncy curls and expressive brown eyes. She was adorable! She counted to 20…then to 30…and finally stopped at 50. Her mom beamed and she smiled at me when she was finished because she knew she had a small audience. Amazed, I asked her mother how old she was. She was three and a half. “Good job,” I said enthusiastically. I was lying.

My mind immediately started racing. Was this normal? Can all kids her age count to 50? Are my young children on track? Is she ahead of the curve? Are my kids behind it? Thoughts were racing through my head and I wanted a computer so I could Google it until my heart was content.

Luckily, the non-mom side of my brain kicked in and squelched the mom racket. The fact that this little girl could count had nothing to do with me or my children. This was someone else’s moment, not mine. I realized how easy it is and how nature it feels to be competitive with other children. Which makes me wonder, are other parents ever genuinely happy for someone else’s child? I sure hope so. After reflecting on my actions, I’d like to congratulate that bubbly little girl on her impressive counting skills. She deserves it.

Happiness is Dancing with Your Shadow

Between the vibrating cell phone calls, the urgent email messages on your Blackberry, the constant bills, the ignored, yet loved DVR, the non-stop solicitations via phone and mail…life not only gets complicated, but also very overwhelming. We’re pushed and pulled in a million directions on a daily basis.

Life handed me a “mom moment” the other day and I actually stopped long enough to appreciate it. I was playing outside with my energetic young children, when I noticed my little toddler was dancing. Well, we don’t have speakers outside, so there wasn’t any music. My older child wasn’t singing and luckily for the neighbors, neither was I! As I watched my toddler, he continued to clap and sway and wave.

Then I noticed he was involved in a conversation – he was talking to his shadow! He danced with it for a while and smiled as it danced back. He tried to grab it a few times and seemed frustrated when he would only succeed in grabbing a handful of dirt. The routine lasted for about 10-15 minutes and ended with a happy wave saying, “bye bye baby!” Of course, the baby waved back at him. What a polite shadow.

It was a really cute moment and one that reminded me how innocent life can be for a child. And maybe we would all benefit by dancing with our shadows once in a while. It certainly looked like fun.