Soft rays of daybreak gently touch the window frames casting subtle shadows on the bed.
Slowly the little lump of boy stirs from the covers but as his eyes eventually open, he affectionately nudges closer in. He reaches over to my shoulder beckoning me to lean in and hug him.
Obliged, I gaze into his tiny face.
In front of me is the magical transformation from new born baby innocence to feisty pre-schooler; all in a blink of an eye.
The days go slow but the years speed past.
And as his long lashes flutter and tickle my cheek, the saying couldn’t hold any more truth.
Early mornings used to carry so much anxiety and stress from the night before. Little sleep caused by the constant worry of work and the heavy burden of trying to be the best in whatever corporate game I was playing at the time.
Terrified that motherhood was possibly not part of the game plan, I wrote in my journal countless pleas to the Greater Universe to grant me one of life’s greatest wishes; I prayed earnestly to the God I believed in for my one final request.
Then the gift of parenting was finally bestowed but the tempestuous journey of trial and error began. Learning to heed to natural instincts while keeping the harsh external judgments at bay. There are days that barely touch the surface of survival but holds the desperate hope that your children don’t detect your weaknesses or your flaws.
Abiding the golden rule we’ve instilled when sleeping in “Mama and Papa’s big bed”, he gently whispers as his little hands hold my face.
“Mama, are you happy?”
Where did he learn to say this?
What makes him think that I’m not?
Have I been cross lately?
Is he still upset at me for scolding him at dinner last night?
After many mornings of being asked, I slowly realized that it wasn’t about emotional scarring or prolonged hurt feelings.
There was actually nothing to feel guilty about.
That’s the stuff us adults – within our tarnished, cynical personal lives – automatically assume because no one ever is genuinely concerned about the state of our disposition anymore. Unless it’s for their own benefit, right?
But his little boy of mine was asking because of his own innocent intentions.
In the midst of chaotic parental duties, ensuring that the children are fed and clothed; keeping up with the milestones and thriving as I unnecessarily compare them to others; there was something far more important my son wanted me to know.
So, I’ve learned.
I’ve learned to quietly whisper my reply, “Yes. Yes, my boy, I’m very happy”
Then, I prompt him, “Are you? Are you happy?”
“Yes, Mama. I’m happy too”