(Inside: How to increase your happiness.)
My four-year-old son didn’t cry when the nurse consecutively plunged 3 needles into his arm. No one tear.
That’s never happened in our home before.
Minutes before the shots, tears streamed down my four-year-old’s face. His little body trembled in anticipation until my oldest son said to him, “Shots don’t hurt if you relax your body. They really don’t, I promise.”
I smiled at my oldest remembering his five-year-old shots when he bellowed and flung all four limbs around in escaping-octopus-style. The lady administering the shots called for two additional nurses to pin him down. When it was over, my wounded son wailed, moaned incisively, and hopped on one foot while he held his other leg down the long hall, past everyone in the waiting room and finally…out the door. It all occurred in slow motion. I promise. And everyone watched. Everyone. That kid knows how to put…on…a…show. (Face in palms.)
But now… in calmness and with the authority of experience, my oldest told his little brother to relax and it wouldn’t hurt. My youngest dried his eyes, sat up straight and magic happened.
Then, we left the doctor’s office to the grocery store. We synchronized grabbing food then rushed to the checkout line. As we walked out of the store I heard, “Ma’ am! Ma’ am!” yelled over the creaking of the sliding exit doors. I turn to see a man shouting towards me, trailed by a limping cashier waving my wallet in the air.
Grateful – I thanked them. My oldest son commented, “Thank goodness the wallet didn’t end up the in trash.”
I knew what he meant. Weeks earlier, I’d taken the boys to Subway and mistakenly thrown my credit card away. After spending an hour looking for my credit card, I figured out how it disappeared. We drove back to the restaurant, but the manager said they’d already changed the trash bags. I told him I’d search through the thrown out trash bag, yet in his kindness, he had a worker do it for me. It took a few minutes, but with a big grin on his face, the manager came back holding my credit card.
So many things go awry in my life: an epic tantrum over 5-year-old shots, leaving my wallet in the store, throwing away my credit card, wasted time…
Yet…so many things go right…
“Gratitude improves emotional and physical health, and it can strengthen relationships and communities. Some strategies include keeping a gratitude journal, learning prayers of gratitude and using visual reminders.
‘Without gratitude, life can be lonely, depressing and impoverished,’ said Emmons. ‘Gratitude enriches human life. It elevates, energizes, inspires and transforms. People are moved, opened and humbled through expressions of gratitude.’”
“A daily gratitude practice. Indeed, counting your blessings each day has been shown to significantly increase your happiness — and your physical health. In addition to helping you get more sleep, practicing gratitude can boost your immunity and decrease your risk of disease.”
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Cheryl is a mom of 3 boys, wife, speaker, educator, and author of Empowered Moms & Kids. She has her Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and is passionate about learning and teaching. On www.empoweredmomsandkids.com you’ll find inspiration in parenting, family connection ideas, encouragement for moms, and more empowering content. Read more in the “about” section of this page.