Friday, May 19, 2006

kids don't make you happy?

I was listening to an interview on the radio this morning - some Harvard psychologist who has written a new book about happiness. He talked about the misconception about children making someone happy. Research shows that happiness plummets when children are born. It starts to rise again as the kids get older, and then plummets again when adolescence comes. Once the empty nest arrives, happiness gets back to pre-kid levels. My friend Katalina said something about this a few weeks ago, and I thought it was odd when she said it. Aren't my kids the best thing in my life?

But today - it made more sense. Monday and Tuesday I was anxiously awaiting Sonny Boy leaving for his week-long spring trip on Thursday morning. Most of our conversations for days had consisted of him loudly singing, "I GOT SOME BEANS IN MY POCKET! YO-DE-A, YO-DE-A. I'M A G. I'M A G!"

But then as soon as the boy hugged and kissed me good-bye Thursday morning, I missed him and can only think fondly of how happy he makes me.

Ah, the human paradox...

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