When my daughter was a baby, my husband and I were shopping and we found some Dr. Suess stickers in a store. Having been huge Dr. Suess fans ourselves, as children, we bought three packs. I mean getting to reread Dr. Suess books was practically the main reason we had children in the first place, right? Margo was only a baby, so we thought she wouldn’t know how to enjoy a pack of stickers… so we packed them away in a place where she could use them when she was old enough to appreciate them.
A year later. Margo was tearing apart a cupboard and she found the stickers. She came toddling over to hand them to me, saying something like, “uh uh uh (I want these)!!!” I smiled, said, “Oh, Thank you“, but put them away. She was still too young, I thought. Another year went by. Margo was two and a half, and she found the stickers in the cupboard, AGAIN! “Finally,” I though, “She’s old enough to use them!” At this point, we had been reading lots of Dr. Suess books to her and she knew the characters well. But, she didn’t want to just use a few of the stickers, like *I* wanted her to. She wanted to use the WHOLE PACK! I let her use a few and then decided to put them away. After all, I didn’t want her to waste them!
Today, I was cleaning out that same messy cupboard and we found those same stupid Dr. Suess stickers again. Margo turns four next month. I peeled one off and tried to stick it on her… but it didn’t work. The stickers were too old, the glue had gone bad and the colors were faded. So, we threw them away.
The moral of this story, my friends, is not about a pack of stickers. It’s about love. It’s about happiness and joy. I was stupid enough to hang on to a pack of stickers and not let them be used, and in the process, they spoiled.
How often do we postpone happiness!? We spend our whole lives waiting for that ‘special moment‘ to be happy or to share unconditional love. We spend our whole lives dreaming of the good things we ‘could‘ do, once we clear all the other things out of our way. Or, we say that when we’re free from stress, then, we’ll be able to enjoy life.
We hook our happiness on some event, on some person or some thing and end up wasting the precious moments we have. We think, “when such and such a thing happens, THEN, I’ll be happy….” But, I’m telling you… love spoils, joy goes rotten, and how to express our happieness gets forgotten, if we don’t remember to do it often! We forget how to be happy because we keep waiting for the next perfect ‘thing‘ or ‘event‘ to make us happy!
I know it’s a far stretch to go from talking about stickers to what it means to be happy, but I hope you see what I’m talking about. It’s not like we should all start living life putting our love on the line over and over again. (Maybe there really is no use in giving a six month old baby some stickers). But, really, when it comes to love and happiness, can we stop waiting for the perfect scenario to be in love with the world around us? A little less grumbling. A little less down on ourselves. A whole lot more of sharing and caring?
My husband and I have learned a lot about being parents and about life in general, over the past four years. This morning, after writing this, she opened a pack of different (sticky) stickers and she happily plastered them on anyone who cared to receive one. But, those old rotten stickers made me think a lot… It reminded me mostly of how I used to be. Scared to be happy. Scared to let loose and enjoy what was right in front of my eyes. Lucky for me, I learn easily from my mistakes. And, I do know one thing for sure: from now on, I won’t be letting my love rot in a cupboard, like I did with those stickers!