My 3 years old son storms into my room and asks out of nowhere: Are you happy, daddy? I ponder for a second as it was all so unexpected. I’m not always happy about all things but: Sure, I’m happy. He seems to be content with the answer. So I ask him in return: Are you happy? He gives me a big smile and a nod. And he storms out as fast as he came in.
There are days when he’s a joy to be around. I try to explain different things and he seems to understand and wants to be helpful and cooperate. I set the narrative something like this: now we wash our hands, and afterward, we go to eat. Now we take a bath and then we change clothes. And off to bed, we go. It doesn’t work like this all the time and some steps might take a lot longer (you might have guessed it – going to bed) but at least it feels like we are making progress.
And then there are days when he doesn’t wanna do anything I tell him. Like it’s another kid in there. Usually when he’s very tired or upset.
But last night was a great one. He told my wife and me that he loved us. A few times over. And each time he gave us a kiss on the cheek. And I did the same. It felt great and it filled my heart with happiness.
These are the things we remember. Memories that stay with us. The ones we keep.
What about you? Are you happy? And when was the last time someone asked you that?
If you get a chance check out my book.
Side by side is a book about the first years of parenting. Both the beauty and the hidden side of parenting. The long nights and troubled days. Parents who try and fail and then try again. And how your little one puts a smile on your face and you forget everything just in time to start a new challenging day. It follows the first 2 years of a new dad and his journey, side by side, along with his son.