Happiness, what is my influence?
As I was folding laundry in the bathroom this morning, I heard laughter coming from my sons’ room. It immediately brought a smile to my face. The sound of laughter from my son always brings that smile. It has been so long since I heard it, I couldn’t even tell you the last time.
Prior to the pandemic, our house was like Grand Central Station on weekends. The kids always had friends coming and going. I loved having all of their friends over, and they seemed to love being there. Once the pandemic hit, that changed, and it was quite the adjustment.
Recently I have been noticing that my son has seemed a bit down. He was always moping about the house attached to some electronic device. There was no laughter, no talking, and almost no noise. It was so quiet.
I had tried numerous times to plan some fun activities, but it was short-lived even if met with some enthusiasm. I had tried planning outings like hiking, picnics, a day at the lake, and even booked some time at the local batting cages. Although there seemed to be a sense of happiness during the activities, the days still ended with mopping and electronics.
I have to tell you finding activities that your teenage son would think were cool was not an easy task. Many of the options I came up with were met with eye rolls and heavy sighs. Can you imagine trying to explain meditation and positive affirmations to your teenager? None the less I tried!
Despite all of these efforts, nothing seemed to be changing.
Then I got a call from my son’s best friend’s mom. She explained that she would need to travel for work, and she wanted to know if her son could come and stay with us for a few days. Of course, I immediately said that we would love to have him.
As I went to tell my son, I couldn’t help but feel excited to have some noise in the house! I told my son, who also seemed to like the idea. I think I even caught a smile. I asked my son to do a quick pick-up of his room while I ran to the store to grab some snacks for everyone.
His friend arrived, and immediately the atmosphere was positive. They talked in the kitchen about what they have been doing, and I believe I even heard my son talk about the right time he had at the batting cages. They had snacks and then went outside to play some basketball before coming back to play a game in his room.
That laughter coming from the room made me realize that this time has been challenging and that perhaps all we need to feel happy is some time with our friends.