Every Monday, I start my week by highlighting what made me happy from the previous week, because I believe we multiply what we focus on, and that gratitude is the first step in learning how to be happier.
This week I got to spend two hours with my nephew Jude. They were the best two hours of my entire week.
The biggest drawback to not living in Iowa is not getting to watch the little kids I love grow up. Little kids don’t update Facebook with the new words they’re using or call you up to tell you that they’ve learned the difference between circles and squares. You have to be there to see those changes.
Because I miss out on these moments normally, I always look forward to enjoying as many of them as I can when we visit. I have two nieces, two nephews, and a handful of other little ones whom I love by virtue of loving their parents. I squeeze them all whenever they let me, taking extra care to breathe in and etch who they are into my brain.
But I have to admit, my time with Jude is special.
His spot in my heart is unique, probably because the parts that surround it are bruised and tender.
I haven’t hugged his father since before Jude was born. I suppose I’m hugging them both when I wrap my arms around his pudgy, little body. In loving him, there’s no doubt I’m also loving the innocent child my little brother once was.
Of course, Jude is not his father. He is part him, sure, but also part of another, and wholly his own person separate from any of us. He is being raised by a mother who shares no blood with me, a woman whose ties to my family are spindly. Perhaps it’s that fragile tie, too, that makes me cherish every second I have with him.
For whatever reason, be it blood, circumstance, the laid-back attitude he’s had since birth, or big blue eyes that remind me of happy days, I adore this boy.
What were the highlights of your week? Before you rush off into a new week, I invite you to play along and share your happiness highlights in the comments, or leave me a link to your own Happiness Highlights post.