“You’re usually here with three kids.” The self service checkout man says with a smile. “How are you?” He asks.
Oddly, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.
I say oddly, because almost everything about my life is measurably worse. I’m tireder. I have less time. I rarely watch TV or go to the movies. I never go to wild parties or the theatre. I don’t chase women or drive cheap cars too fast or have any spare cash at all. Ever.
When I was younger life was measurably better. I didn’t really appreciate it. My son doesn’t appreciate the multiple on-demand entertainment streams or the millions of toys and books and crafts and parties and playdates. His life is crushingly boring. Waiting the seconds it takes to choose the next thing is agony.
I never appreciated my freedom. Or spare time. Or spare cash. All excitement goes. And yet I’m still happier. How? Is it the wonder of having kids? No. Well, maybe partly. But mostly it’s something else.
I never used to enjoy the supermarket. Ever. It was a boring place. It still is. And yet now, just being on my own in the supermarket has become almost blissful. As is sitting on the loo uninterrupted. And staying in bed a few extra minutes. And walking without the drone of whinging. And watching TV with my wife. Life gets better not because life gets better, but because life gets worse, and we become more and more pitifully grateful for the little things.
“Your’s are well behaved.” The checkout man says about my kids. “Some just lie on the floor and scream.”
My son did that last week. I am enormously enjoying the simple pleasure of the checkout man thinking my nightmare child belongs to someone else. Life is good.