Tree of Happiness

I've finally been tagged! Yay.
After feeling like the unpopular kid in the playground,
Te' of the beautiful blog "Shut up and Dance" has invited me to come up with 6 things that make me happy.

So here goes.

Hearing my son say No!
I am not a masochist. I just get such a buzz whenever he says the word NO! and means it. Because up until recently he would rely on behaviour to refuse a request. Or push the item away or take it and then use it inappropriately or chuck it.
And if it was a concept we were talking about, he would just flip out a bit and start hurting himself if he didn't like the idea. So being able to say and understand the power of NO! is excellent.
And the way he says it is so endearing. Because it is exactly the kind of "NO, what are you talking about? How could you even suggest that, Are mad? or just ignorant woman?"
That everyone on Mr Hammie's side of the family uses.
(like when you offer them a cup of tea or something, eek!)

Finding something to laugh about, everyday.
Okay, sometimes the things aren't very nice. Like a couple of days ago I saw a guy jogging with his little dog, on a lead. And the dog could barely keep up so it had it's head up and it's little legs were going hup hup hup. I laughed out loud at that. (I don't hate dogs but it was funny) Or a website that sells clothes for guinea pigs. Or a comment on Sister Wolf's excellent blog: "Godammit I'm Mad"

Usually it is something that my kids or my husband have said or done. That's cool isn't it?

Living in Wicklow.
Sorry to my overseas readers but hey, you can google Wicklow can't you?
I love living within a very short walk of a very quaint but chi-chi seaside village where every second shop either sells coffee, trinkets, pretties or organic vegetables. And I love that everyone else seems to love living here, so people are pretty happy. I also love that I can see a mountain outside my bedroom window. When I can see the peak, it I know I can put the washing out, but when it clouds upand disappears; Rain is coming. (small obsession but you try getting your washing dry in Ireland!)
I love all the little stone walls and the fields of canola and heather and the rocky hillsides. And how on a sunny day it gets an extra glow. As do the residents of this green and pleasant corner of the world.
And it is all just a 30 minute drive from the best noodles and sushi in Ireland. Truly marvellous.

I love that my kids love me,.........
Too often in the early days of autism, they tell you nonsense about how your kids will never truly connect with you. Or that they cannot possibly have autism (when they Sooooo do!) because they are sitting on your lap in the Doctor's office cuddling you.
I think if you spent everyday sitting in a wooden chair with your shoes on waiting for your kids to love you, then you might perceive that they have a problem with showing emotions and affection.
But if you get down with them on the floor and have a wrestle or a snuggle and tickle and give them a chance to get physically close to you on their terms; then you will soon find a connection. My Bratty will come and sit on you like the little Burmese cat she so resembles and expect to be stroked and adored. And when she says my name I am in Heaven.
My Boo can tell me he loves me (he learned it by rote) and shows me by snuggling up to do some drawing or scripting together. And when I am trying to tell him off for a past misdemeanor, he actually grabs me around the neck and pulls me into a man hug.
MMMM mmmm!

And I love that they are not afraid to show their love.

Maybe, because my kids have autism they are immune to the celtic aversion to demonstrative affection. As Marian Keynes, says: "An older irish woman would sooner shoot you than hug you" (or something, I paraphrase)
I am not irish. I am an anglo celtic Meridionali and I grew up around greek, maltese and sicilian emigrants in the western suburbs of Melbourne.

So I like to show my kids I love them and at 9 and 10 years old respectively, they still let me.
They are never embarrassed to hold hands or be hugged or kissed in public and Long may it go on.

Everyday I will grab them after school and plant a big kiss on a cheek, scaring the hell out of their tutors who wonder where the red mark came from. "Occupational hazard" I say. I just can't help kissing my kids and I always wear lipstick.

(note that you should exercise caution when wearing lip plumper gloss as the kiss on a soft little cheek will stay there for hours)

If anyone ever tries to suggest I shouldn't be showing affection, I will tell them to move to Italy and watch beautifully dressed elderly women; hugging and triple kissing their grown up sons.

My network of friends.
Every morning I can look forward to seeing what my aussie, mid-atlantic or american cyber friends have been up to during the night. During the day when I am alone but for the washing machine and hoover, I keep checking the old laptop for that friendly little blue envelope that says "You've got Mail"

Somedays I even meet up for brunch or lunch with a pal in person, or drinks and dinner in the evening.

Sometimes it is a little cyber chat on gmail while putting the Brat to bed. Or some ridiculous texting as we share our pitfalls, triumphs and bitchy comments about the latest talent show to exploit the mentally ill, or Eurovision.

Ridiculous as we tend to do it line by line, with texts flying back and forth. But fun as it replaces the voice conversation which would never be heard over the ambient noise of the autistic household.
It all makes me feel part of a community. Which could easily shun me as I only ever operate on my kids terms. Dinner parties and play dates are out. Late night blogging, commenting and cyber chatting and face book messaging is in. Get with the times Homer!

Now I have to tag 5 other blogs and thanks to Enc of Observation Mode (Look Ma, no hands!)
I can do it neatly by title. They have to do their own list of 6 and pass it on. I know it's like a chain letter or email which I hate. But instead of fecking angels we are being asked to realise what makes us happy in THIS world, so I feel no compunction in naming:

Songs and Stories

A life Less Ordinary

And one more, I'm still thinking about it.



Cathal's Mammy said…
Glad you are joining in on the happiness vibe that's been floating around. It must be the lovely WARM weather that's making everyone feel good (roll on the rest of summer!)
Your blog and posts on RC make me happy and make me laugh.....thank you
Sesame said…
Nice idea for a blog picking 6 things that make you happy. Mine would probably be similar to yours but here goes:

1. My kids & Hubby. I love the way I love them all individually and they each have that something different about them that you can't help but love..Eldest very sensitive and very overtly affecionate. Next Dd very loud and cheeky (in a nice way) and Babs's little routines and hugs and last Ds blonde hair and blue glasses and his wicked temper.

2. My family. Without my folks I would be stuck in my house 24/7 without ever getting anywhere. The most supportive parents you'll find anywhere. My sisters are my reliable sitters for a night out and are great to go drinking with too. My brothers help out too if my ma not available.

3. The view from our house. We are in the country, up on a height and have a fab view of a lot of the county. Have never appreciated nature as much.

3. My homeplace. Thank God I'm a country girl. Have massive grĂ¡ for the place I grew up - even the name (Newcastle, Oldcastle), who else could boast such a fab address, apart from our neighbours.

4. My childhood. Had the best ever, with lifelong friends. Freedom that my own kids will unfortunately never experience. A sign of the times.

5. Dunnes Stores. My place of work for 11 years. I learned lots, met fab people as well as some nasty ones and made the best friend in the world who is Babs Godmother. I can't say I loved Dunnes towards the end, but I do miss the craic and the adult company.

6. Autism/Internet. They go hand in hand. Wouldn't have discovered one without the other. All my spare time is spent on the net since discovering Babs has autism. The ultimate read for autism beginners is Rollercoaster and is where I have 'met' a different type of friend my cyberpals. Also getting invaluable advice and a laugh from your blog Hammie, working on my own and the other bloggers, Cathal's Mammy & Nick and have found couple of others.

Dunno if they are in the right order but they have all played a part in shaping me into who I am today. Thanks for the tag, afraid I can't help you out with doing it a different way but have no doubt you will do it.
The Spicers said…
Great post! Love your answers.
My kids are 6 and 8 and still let me cuddle them and hold hands in public, thankfully.
EJ Willingham said…
Ahhh...tagged! I'll post a response and my tagees on my blog soon.

Great blog...thanks for stopping by mine.
Seeker said…
I love this memes, it's such a good way to know more about other bloggers.
Love your answers, it's good to know about you.

Oh dear I laught with your comment about the buzzed through security, but you know, I'm usuded to it, so when I arrive near security I start taking off my stuff to place all in a bascket.
Just imagine... LOL LOL


PS - I know how to link, since I'm short of time I can't say it now, if you still need help when I'm back home, I'll tell you.

Anonymous said…
Your list of happy things made me happy! thank-you. Your home/village sounds glorious, I think Ireland is one of the most beautiful places on earth too.
Elizabeth said…
This was absolutely heartwarming, as all your posts are. Thanks for taking the time to share.
Anonymous said…
What makes me happy? OK, In no particular order

1. My children. DD is 6 and DS is 5. I thank God every day for them. I also thank God at the end of tough days that I haven’t murdered them.
2. My husband. We are together 15 years. He has to put up with me. ‘Nuff said.
3. My family. My dad is 82, he is the most gentle, kindest person I have ever met. My mother is 74, we (fondly) call her Lucrezia Borgia. My sisters quite simply saved my life in the early days of child raising. I love them all.
4. The simple pleasures in life. - Music that moves me to tears. A nice glass of vino after a long day. Watching my kids playing together, watching them sleep. Me time (just a little please) Shopping, window or otherwise. Crisp fresh sheets. The smell of fresh cut flowers. The first breath of fresh air after being in the office all day. A good song. Dancing.
5. Experiencing other countries. OK, the “getting there” would not be my favourite past time (Dublin Airport anyone?) But, when you do get there what wonders await? Post kids I have obviously customised my destinations to their preferences, but pre kids, have to say my favourite places to go were, USA (Chicago, New Jersey, New York, Florida), Hong Kong, & Crete. Would love to go to the West Coast of US some day and Australia.
6. My Friends. The real ones I know I can count on in tough times. The cyber ones, who are so funny, supportive, informative etc. Where would we be without them?
Lisamaree said…
Cathal, Sesame; now you have to do the tree of happiness post on your blog, and find six people to send it on to.
I heart, Seeker, Emily, Cybill and Enc, : I have been wanting to say those things about my kids for ages. Te's tag was a lovely excuse. And enc; thanks for the tutorial on embeds.
Fr Dougal, glad to have you back. Maybe we should put our 6 things on the bathroom mirror to remind us to look for the good in life each day. Thanks!
Sesame said…
Right so..will scour the net to find 6 randomers count?? How does 1 tag someone?
Te said…
Oh I loved all of this! And so much I want to respond too, but I forgot to open the comments box in a new tab so I can remember what was in said in order. Anyhow, I never understood the whole 'Autistic kids wont connect with you emtionally' thing, I think you're right in thinking it is just about decoding the way in which they show it! I could totally imagine Boo saying 'No!' in that 'you're insane`!' tone. None of the kids I worked with could say no but they could give the look and the fact that they rarely make eye contact makes the look even funnier, like they are looking past you thinking 'this girl is so stupid, why would I want to poo in the toilet when there is an empty crayon container right here'. I understand the quaint village thing too, when I lived in the UK it was in a small English village which used to be a tourism hub before everyone realised Paris was just a train ride away, I loved the beach on those stormy days. So romantic.