This kitchen will never be featured in a magazine. It will never receive enthusiastic compliments from friends and visitors. It’s only future is to observe my less-than-perfect cooking skills and to endure my fledgling attempts to keep it immaculate.
But this little room is a happy place for me. Want to know why?
I get to teach my little girls how to make macaroni and cheese here. (And hopefully insure that they will never try to make a homemade salad dressing out of a raspberry crystal light packet)
What could be more fun than sitting on a floor with a four, three, and two-year old making lunch while the one-year old sleeps?
I wish you could have seen their delight at all they got to do; unwrapping butter, shaking in salt and pepper, adding and stirring the cheese. Hope was cheddar, Gracie was mozzarella, and Sophia was parmesan.
The floor got a little messy; it took longer than if I had just done it myself, but that didn’t seem to matter.
This little incident really impressed me, obviously enough to get a camera and take some rough home photos.
Why did something so insignificant fill me with this deep, abiding sense of happiness?
I think that true happiness always catches us off guard. How many times have I done things trying to manufacture happiness? But there was none of that on this particular Saturday; just got up, got the girls up, made breakfast, probably played or folded laundry, sent my sweet husband off to the library and hoped that the rest of the day wouldn’t be too difficult.
And for some reason decided to put the pot of noodles down on the floor so the girls could make macaroni and cheese with me. Weeks later, I’m writing about it and still trying to figure it out.
Happiness doesn’t depend on beautiful surroundings, ideal circumstances, or perfectly planned activities. It just happens; I think I would argue it happens when you’re thinking about yourself the least.
Okay, I could easily make a long list of things that sound more fun than making macaroni and cheese with preschoolers. I’m a big girl; I have interests, desires, dreams; but for right now, teaching them and spending time with them are the steps I find myself taking. And the big picture truth I’m thinking about is that these small steps have right here, right now, brought me to a happy place.
p.s. Thank you all so much for reading; you’re giving me unexpected encouragement.