Sometimes I feel utterly at odds with the world. Honestly. Like everybody’s in a different mental timezone to me half the time. Whether it’s in-laws being crushingly selfish or friends competing in the World Boring Championships to see who can stay indoors and have the least fun, life can sometimes be frustrating.
I’m not judging these people. Well, not much. Okay, I am judging them. After spending years in the wilderness being a slave to the grind and becoming a dull, grey person as a result, I want to make every moment count.
Anyhow, it’s reassuring to know that whenever it feels like I’m totally at odds with the rest of Planet Earth, at least I’ve got my kids. I just love that closeness that we have in our family – the in-jokes, the wacky spontaneous dancing in the kitchen, playing and living together. (Reality check: no, we’re not The freakin’ Waltons, we irritate each other too sometimes!)
Sometimes they’re so finely tuned to my mood that they’ll know what I’m thinking before I’ve even opened my mouth. They’re the global leading experts in reading my mind.
For example, Jake was regaling me with a story about something that happened with one of his friends. It seemed to me that the other kid was being a bit of a douche, and so I was deep in thought, racking my brains for the best, most balanced advice to give him. Jake immediately registered the annoyance in my face and said “You’re angry about something.” He was absolutely right. I didn’t like the way he’d been treated by the other child, but I was trying hard to balance my response. But Jake picked up on the pursed lips and faraway look and correctly guessed that I was irked.
And I love that they’ll say to me “You’re annoyed.” It means that they’re tuned in to how I feel about things, but that they feel they can talk to me about it. It’s not “Dad’s angry, keep your head down and hide”, they want to engage and ask why. Curiously, whenever they quiz me this way, it sometimes shakes me out of my funk, because it makes me feel ‘understood’ and not like some type of untouchable patriarchal type.
So, when other people are getting on my nerves and I’m pissed off with the world, this is one more reason why my kids can still put a massive smile on my face. In what ways do your kids make you happy?