Because I’m Happy!

“Clap along if you feel like Happiness is the Truth” Pharrell Williams – Happy

I’m pretty disconnected from the world of pop music. I learn about what’s popular from my students, their hip families and our teen and millennial volunteers.

I believe that kindness in children can and must be modeled, fostered and cultivated.
I believe that kindness in children can and must be modeled, fostered and cultivated.

I had however, fallen in love with Lorde’s “Royals.” So when a six year old student started belting out his own lyrics while cantering around the arena in my lap, I laughed and squealed with him as he sang “We can never be ROYALS, You can be a green bean!”

I lead a charmed life full of joy.

This week’s pop song might be my favorite of all time. One of our families visited and I won’t lie, this little guy can be a challenge.  Sometimes, he just needs to destroy things and the trick is finding a space and an activity where he can work through his struggles and keep himself, others, critters and equipment as safe as possible. He’s broken rocks, jumps, helmets, toys, our fire pit, earthworms and more.  We’ve had some ingenious ways to help him channel energy and anger and we’ve had to repair and replace some stuff. He’s also one of the brightest and neatest kids ever and a smile from him can make your entire week

When he and his sister visited we met him in the parking lot with Rickie, our feisty pony.  He wanted to head straight to the campsite, a 600 yard hike from his car so off we went, his dad and little sister in tow.  We’d had a week of rain and the campsite was soggy and our raft, which we’d forgotten to flip over, was pulled ashore and full of water.  He hopped from the pony and was in the raft, calling it his swimming pool before we could intervene.  It’s April and it’s the Coastside, so a warm day is about 62F.  In a few more moments, he was naked in his “swimming pool” and face down in the water blowing bubbles and licking the sides.  I gathered up his clothes and hung them to drip while he played.

Clap along if you feel like that’s what you want to do.”

Both his dad and I realized about 15 minutes in that he was getting chilled and we started thinking about

Lady Godiva – Josephine Wall Fantasy Paintings

strategies to get him back to some dry clothes and warmth.Nothing seemed to work, he was loving the feeling of the water on his face and on his body, even if his lips were turning a little bit blue. We both looked at his wet clothes dripping on the fence and knew that getting him back in them was going to be a sensory nightmare. I squatted next to him while the pony grazed and started talking about Lady Godiva, the 11th century noblewoman who rode her horse naked through the streets of the village to oppose the oppressive taxes her husband had waged against his tenants.  Our little swimmer was still lolling in the raft but I knew he heard me.  His little sister offered to be the mayor of our village if her brother, who we now called “Lord Godiva” would ride naked through our imaginary town and back to the barn.

Rickie our pony was wearing a wool square pad with a navajo blanket on top and I removed the navajo and told Lord Godiva that it was a warm and royal robe for his highness.  We lifted him like the nobleman he was onto his awaiting steed and covered his chilly shoulders with his royal robe and proceeded to ride back to the barn, with his sister the mayor telling everyone to “make way for the naked Lord Godiva.” We marched and pranced our way back to the barn.

I realized that Lord Godiva was singing quietly under his breath.  I leaned in and this is what he was singing “Because I’m happy. Because I’m happy.  Because I’m happeeeeeee.”

I really do lead a charmed and joyful life.  I’m so grateful for the trust and love of our families to trust us to follow their children and the beautiful and amazing places they take us. A simple reminder to stay present, stay joyful and “Clap along if you feel like Happiness is the Truth!”

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