Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Out of the Blue

Out of the blue my son asked me, "Papa, are you happy?"

My first thought was that I've got to stop wearing my pissed off, put upon face. But then I was struck by the fact that Sebastian has never asked me about my feelings before. Was this a new phase? A looking outward, away from the me, me, me.

And then the question really hit me. Am I happy?

I thought of my grandmother who died in 1994, after ninety-four years of life. At her memorial service I read from a letter she wrote. Its contents have become one of my foundations. In it she said she strived for contentment. That happiness was momentary, as was sadness. But really, there was nothing wrong with sustaining a pure, almost zenlike (although Grandma would never have used the word zenlike) form of contentment.

Then coming back into my present self, I wondered what level of happiness anyone can really achieve while picking clothes off the floor and contemplating a trip to the grocery store with two kids who have recently discovered the joy of stealing Rolos. Truth be told, at that moment even contentment was eluding me. If only I could find my zen with housework.

I'm a bit of a stickler for the truth, but it occurred to me that my six year old was not interested in Eastern philosophy. So, instead, I copped out and said, "Yes, I'm happy."

He nodded his head with an unusual intensity which prompted me to ask, "Honey, are you happy?"

Sebastian is basically a good natured kid and quick with the yes, so I assumed that would be his answer. And then he'd distract himself by asking me again about the paramedics he saw at the side of the road earlier that morning.

Instead, with thoughtful purpose he answered, "I'm adjusting."

They grow up so fast.

21 comments:

Jane said...

Wow that's a mouth full!
I just started following you. I don't know how old your son was when you adopted him, but that's a powerful statement!

David Peryam said...

I love this, Hutch.

That one girl said...

At only SIX? Wow!

Michael Taylor Gray said...

"I'm adjusting." wow. Well, aren't we all? I love Sebastian's mind and spirit. He constantly amazes me. What a gift that little boy is to us all.

Shana said...

What a great kid!!

Mickey said...

My little one is only 13 months, so my anecdotes don't include any dialogue on his part - yet!

What a wonderful blog! Your kids are absolutely beautiful.

nicktionary said...

wow...

just, like, wow.

~Just me again~ said...

That's really deep for a 6 year old. Good for him for being in touch with his surroundings.

Maureen at IslandRoar said...

Oh, boy, you're in for loads of fun with this thoughtful deep little one.

Dawn@Embracing the Ordinary Life said...

that kids got a good grasp of life...

The Renaissance Chick said...

What an insightful answer, young man! What a truthful, insightful answer!

Malisa

Woman with kids said...

He sounds like a great kid...

Vodka Mom said...

i loved this.


And the contentment quote? That is exactly what I've been thinking. about contentment........

carrie said...

Yes! They do. Mine surprise me each and every day. :)

Out-Numbered said...

what a timely post. I just started going to therapy yesterday... again, for the first time in 3 years. Are we ever really happy?

surprised mom said...

I am impressed and amazed at your son's insight. Wow, indeed.
Your grandmother was a wise woman.

Frau said...

I love it "I'm Adjusting" might need to steal that line. He is one smart boy!

Bonnie Johnson said...

The raw honesty of your six year old is inspiring...and so is your grandmothers quest for contentment. That's really what its all about - except I think we should take it one step further and shoot for joy. :)

LegalMist said...

Kids have amazing insight and wisdom sometimes, don't they?

BellaDaddy said...

Ya know they get it from their parents ;-)

Good going my friend...adjusting, indeed ;-)

Kudos! ;-)

Great to see you back in the blogosphere!!

Melissa said...

HAHA! That is hilarious! He sounds adorable!