Seven year-old Boy Wonder is easy to please. He's delighted if I snuggle in bed with him early in the morning, even for five minutes. He's tickled pink when I offer him all the cereal he can eat, and if I'm the least bit encouraging, he will gladly push his bowl over and—gangly legs and all—climb in my lap to eat his breakfast, humming happily all the while. He really likes me to admire his Legos and paper airplanes handiwork. He always loves a park outing. He enjoys kickball or, really, any sport involving a ball and a parent and some cheering. A piece of string cheese makes his eyes roll with pleasure. Just before bed, he likes to sit in my lap and lean backwards until his head nearly hits the ground. He rises up, flushed and bright-eyed, “Do it again, Mom, WOOOOOO!”
The day is not far off when happiness won't be so easily achieved. Friends and the greater world will inevitably encroach, and there will be problems I won't be able to solve. Although Boy Wonder won’t remember how many times I’ve exclaimed over his Legos masterpieces or the countless occasions we've played ball, I’m hopeful he's building a reserve of happiness, an emotional bank of satisfaction, self-sufficiency, and well-being. And when the hard days come—as they do for all of us and surely will for him—he can draw on it, to tide him over to brighter days.
In the meantime: "Do it again, Mom, WOOOOOO!"