When you had a baby, you could order a ‘hello-baby-hamper’. Don’t get me wrong – 20 years ago this was perfectly normal (I recently discovered that they still exist, by the way).
And that ‘hamper’. It was always a cardboard box crammed with all kinds of useful, cute, practical, sweet baby things. For the joyful mothers of joyful babies. Whether you screamed all day long in tandem with your screaming baby; it mattered not a jot. You were labelled ‘joyful’.
You could joyfully sit down and pump gallons of breastmilk, joyfully observe how other mothers managed to sleep through the night, or joyfully conspire how to transform your little bundle of joy into an einstein.
The average mother isn’t permanently joyful. She’s definitely happy and all the rest of it. But non-stop joyfulness, well that’s something else. You have too much responsibility to remain continuously joyful. Your baby is a real living person, who still needs to grow. Who might encounter a thousand scary monsters along the way. And, there’ll be some real ones too. I am most definitely happy with our four children, including our little girl who died. Because she was perfect and she was ours. But joy was not on the table.
The Hello Parkinson’s Hamper
Then there’s the Hello Parkinson’s hamper. Believe it or not, they exist. As if you should constantly be striving to extract the joyfulness from your disease. Appreciate anything and everything. Joyfully live for the moment, finding joy in what you can (still) do, finding joy in acceptance, in being able to cope, joyful about being so jolly joyful. It’s all in that Hello Parkinson’s hamper. You mostly find them on social media. Hello Parkinson’s Hampers. I’m occasionally a HPH myself.
Not. I’m not deliriously joyful and I certainly don’t need that hamper.
But I ám happy. Felice. This ‘felice’ didn’t come in a Hello Parkinson’s Hamper. It’s a happiness you can receive, give, cherish. Look at your hands, look at what they contain. If you hold happiness in your hands, then never let it go. Felice. Strong and vulnerable in equal measure.
Thank you, Life.