Friday, April 4, 2008

The Land of Happy

I was reading some Shel Silverstein poetry to Littleman the other night, and we read this one:

The Land of Happy

Have you been to The Land of Happy,
Where everyone's happy all day,
Where they joke and they sing
Of the happiest things,
And everything's jolly and gay?
There's no one unhappy in Happy,
There's laughter and smiles galore.
I have been to The Land of Happy-
What a bore!

(from Where the Sidewalk Ends, by Shel Silverstein)

Littleman asked me, "Why is it boring?"
"Well". . . I thought, "Because it's all the same all the time. Everything is always happy, and if there's nothing different than it's not interesting anymore. Happy is great, but we need all kinds of feelings to keep things different and interesting".

This seemed to satisfy him, and we moved on (to "Pirate Captain Jim"). Later on however, I was reading an article that touched on using failures as learning opportunities. The article (I think it was in Mothering magazine?) noted that it's important to teach our children to use their failures as an opportunity to learn and grow. The importance of that notion struck me, and all of a sudden I recalled my explanation of why the "land of happy" would be boring. I realized that there was a much better way of explaining why Silverstein's image of "The Land of Happy" would be such a bore: there would be no opportunity to grow! Without failures and frustration, life would be a blissful stagnant cesspool. We NEED sadness, frustration and trouble so that we can learn from our mistakes and grow. Therefore, rather than saying it would be a bore because it's always the same and not interesting, a more direct explanation would be that it would be a bore because no one would be learning anything new about themselves.

Just something I was thinking 'bout.

* * *

Right now everyone's in breathless anticipation of these severe thunderstorms and possible tornadoes heading our way. Ho, hum. I know, I know, it is serious and I (especially, because of the kids) should be prepared. And we are as prepared as we can be, I think. But I must admit to rolling my eyes a little when I keep getting concerned phone calls from relatives checking on us, and the storms are barely out of Alabama! This is normal weather for Springtime around here. And heaven knows we need the rain. So anyhow, I'll let you know if we get blown away. Or rather, I'll let you know if we didn't. You know what I mean.

* * *

Babyman is crying AGAIN. Everywhere I go, people coo over him and exclaim "What a happy baby! Is he always this good?" To which I can only say, "No, not always." If only they knew. Yes, if I could hold him and make him the center of attention 24/7, he would always be that happy. (Pretty much). Since that's not the case (can we say two other kids and a host of responsibilities?), well, let's just say he can make his displeasure known. Sigh.

So anyhow, off I go. Sorry for the lapse in posting- I crash exhausted into bed every night, whether I meant to or not. (Hence a midday post, here). Hopefully I'll get more sleep.

Thumbs-up will have to wait! Bye!

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