i've said before if i could solve one of life's mysteries, i would research the law of attraction, namely where each of us get our wiring to like who/what we like.
if i could research another topic it would be what happens to the natural joy and enthusiasm for life that our babies seem to be born with. when i drop my boys off at school, i stick around before the final bell rings and the kids line-up to go into school. weather permitting, the younger kids (just K-2, the older grades report directly to their classrooms) play on the playground until it is time to go in. in less than sixty seconds you can see there is no happier block of humans anywhere in the zip-code, K-2 kids from other elementary schools excused.
assuming a child has not been injured from, say, running headlong into another sprinting child who is also blind with happiness or someone hasn't prematurely taken their red playground ball, the children occupying this small space are so free of worry and filled with excitement you can't help but be envious of their wide-eyed engagement of the world before them. climbing, laughing, chasing, sharing, shrieking. then i go about my day and see everyone who is not a first grader and can't help but wonder what happened. where does this joy go? and more importantly, does it have to go or is it a choice?
it seems at some point we're replacing these natural tendencies with something else, something less natural, less fun. last sunday i glimpsed a corner of the puzzle when alex and anthony woke up first, as they tend to do on the weekends. they were sleeping in the nest (where marty and i sleep), bella was in her room, i was in alex's bed and marty was away for the weekend.
i heard anthony laughing loudly
i heard alex caution him.
if i wasn't so tired, i would have gotten out of bed and told him to, essentially, be less happy this early in morning and if he had to be so happy, to try to do so much more quietly, at least, until more people were more awake.
my line of thinking then answered, largely, my second most coveted question to the universe about what happens to the natural joy our children are born with. we happen to it.