Happiness Highlights: Strengthening Bonds with Someone Special

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.

I’m exceedingly grateful I got to play with him for a bit last week.

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.

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  1. Everyday I have a bit of happiness. Our pregnant daughter and hubby; my painting; reading; The Hubby; my world…yes I have a lot of happiness!

    He is truly adorable and huggable!
    Jill of All Trades’s most recent post: Neighbors – Creepy Update – CAUTION when reading

  2. Nanna says:

    Ah, he is so beautiful! My happiness came from knowing you got to play with him and smother him with love and kissies. Also from finishing clinical and my last paper. Good week!

  3. Little Miss Sunshine State says:

    Sometimes cuddling a little one can be so healing.

    My happiness last week came from 2 trips to New Smyrna to walk, tan, and eat with a good friend and my daughter. I also started walking again after 3 months off for an injury.

  4. Kids have an amazing ability to help us heal.
    Corey Feldman’s most recent post: Yizkor

  5. Megan says:

    A quiet weekend made me very happy.

    What is currently making me unhappy is the fact that it’s been windy and the pollen count is high so, despite the fact that I went Friday to get my allergy shots, I was unable to wake up and run this morning. I’m trying to remember to be gentle with myself and that it’s not because I’m lazy, it’s because of something I cannot control. I feel better just saying that! :)
    Megan’s most recent post: Help!

  6. Lisa says:

    I’m glad you got to hug your little buddy. Mine came over to show me his daddy’s new car, so I got baby hugs this week too.

    My happiness came from making a decision to commit the time, energy & financial resources to making a career out of photography. I am committing to learning everything I can and sharpening my skills.
    Lisa’s most recent post: Who Finally Published a Life List?

  7. reading this made my eyes leak.
    hello haha narf’s most recent post: Couldn’t Post This on the First

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