Sharing the Key to Happiness


Its pretty incredible, really. Living in the moment. I don’t do it very well, but I know someone who does.

My son, Wil.

Kids are really good at it, until we teach them differently. Kids have excitement over the smallest things, because that is their focus. Unlike us, there is not categorization of the moment, it’s a moment filled with emotion. The emotion reflects the moment.

This morning, I poured my son some cereal. He really liked it, so when I asked him for some more he replied with a loud,


You would have thought I offered him a puppy.

But, that’s just it. At that moment, that was an exciting thing for him. The cereal was not categorized or related to anything, he was simply enjoying the moment, and the fact that the cereal created happiness was just a side product.

Wil happens to have Down syndrome, and I’ve found this is quite common amongst his friends with Ds. While most of us lose this sense of being in the moment, many with Ds somehow manage to maintain it despite our best efforts to show them differently. Thank goodness for that.

Sure, in life, we need to plan ahead for schooling, jobs, retirement, and the like. But, in all the hustle and bustle, we somehow forgot to enjoy ourselves, so we go out and seek enjoyment.

We buy boats, cars, go on vacations, find a new girlfriend or a new boyfriend. We keep seeking, looking, trying to find and capture that elusive happiness.

Money or a person can buy you happiness, momentarily.

Oh, but Wil, who has not a penny to his name, has the key to that elusive door to happiness we seek with every new purchase or person.

That key to happiness is in the moment, and Wil knows that and willingly shares it. But sometimes, I’m too busy planning, cleaning, getting ready for what’s next to notice it.

When I make the kids a meal, and set it down on the table for them, and then continue to bustle about without joining them, Wil looks up at me and says, “Mom, sit” as he pats the seat next to him.

My first thoughts are always all the things that have to get done, and then, I realize, it’s just “stuff that has to get done.” So, I sit.

But, it’s not calmly at first. My mind is awash with all that awaits me as I sit here.

Oh, but Wil is good.

When I take a pause in all that is swirling around in my head, and look at him, he is looking at me with a big smile on his face.

I get lost in the moment, in his smile.

All that swirl in my mind is gone, forgotten, lost. My only focus is that smile and how darn happy it makes me. That is my complete focus and all that matters.

Why, oh why, do I put all this stuff over that smile? Why is it so hard to sit still for just 15 minutes and enjoy that time? So, I sit, and I let “stuff” wait, and I enjoy my children and the stories they have to tell me.

Every time I do that, I wonder why I allow “stuff” to get in the way, but I do. Happiness is right there waiting for me all the time. I need only pause, to enjoy the moment right in front of me, and soak it all in.

My son has the key, and despite my efforts at showing him differently, he hasn’t lost it. And, he is ever patient and loving, showing and sharing the key with me every day, in hopes that one day, I may go back to what I once knew as a child, and accept that key and walk through that door again.

The key to happiness is sharing a moment in time, enjoying the moment for the moment.

Thank you, Wil, my little, wise teacher. Please do not lose hope in me, and keep sharing that precious smile of yours. It brings me such joy.



3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. diansoekanto
    Jun 02, 2013 @ 16:40:58

    This is beautiful! My brother who happens to have cerebral palsy is one of the happiest people I know. I’m learning a lot from him, and hope that in time, I will learn to live in the moment as he does.


    • Christie Taylor
      Jun 02, 2013 @ 18:25:55

      Thank you! I’ve enjoyed reading your posts. As most posts I read are written by parents of children with special needs, its very eye-opening to read perspectives from a sibling. Thank you for sharing your stories!


  2. Trackback: Happiness | randomblurting

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