Wednesday, April 14, 2010
A New Appreciation for Happiness
I have another blog. One that I keep separate from this one because it contains real names and pictures of my kids. I don't want the general public knowing these intimate details about my son but I needed an outlet to discuss bipolar disorder.
I've been blogging for 2 years now. A little over a year ago I wrote this post below.
It always makes me laugh when I hear people's response to a common question, "What do you wish for your children?"
The number one, most common response is, Happiness.
Well that's just crap. Happiness is an emotion. Emotions aren't permanent. If they are, you probably need help. Permanent sadness is depression. Permanent anxiety is a disorder. Permanent perkiness is just annoying. Of all the qualities, characteristics, values, and strengths you would wish for your child, why would someone pick happiness?
For me, I would wish for my children to be honest, have self-confidence, be compassionate, independent, have strong values, stand up for themselves, and know they are loveable and know how to love others. I know that's a tall order. But hopefully, we'll do something right as parents and our children will turn out less messed up than we are.
But happiness? I don't know, maybe it's just me, but I don't wish eternal happiness on my children. What can one learn from that? Sadness, grief, despair is a natural part of life. I don't want my kids to be sheltered from the real world. Yes, life is hard. People let you down. Bad things happen. But to not experience that part of life, is to not experience life to the fullest. With the bad, you also have the good. And if anything, I want my children to live. Really live. And that means going through an array of emotions and experiences, even bad ones.
Things have changed since then. Obviously. I was blissfully ignorant when I wrote this. I still thought my son's issues were because he was a "spirited child". And this is not the first time I've eaten my words.
Happiness sounds pretty good to me right now.
When I think of Taz's future, all I can hope for is some amount of happiness. Whether he goes to college and enters the career of his dreams or whether he flips burgers at a diner, if he can find some kind of joy in life, I will be satisfied. Even if he just has a hobby that he enjoys, that will be enough for me. Out of jail, off of drugs. That's what Dh and I hope for. You might think our standards are low. I think they are very high.