Look at this drink, people. This drink has candy in the drink.
I’m not, like, offended by this or anything. Would I want to drink it? No, I would not. But this kind of drink, a drink with gummy worms in it, can be super fun for kids, right? (Kudos, Dave and Busters.)
Also, this was Lucy’s birthday. When are you going to do it if not on your birthday? It’s not like we’re sitting down on a normal Tuesday night to baked salmon and brown rice and I’m serving up a drink that looks like it was magicked into the world by a 4 year old.
Now, do I think that sugar is probably the new tobacco and that in 20 years we’ll be wondering why we were feeding our kids colored fun-poison? Yeah, maybe, but for now the candy lobby rules America and there are worse overlords, I suppose.
But back to the drink. This is what happiness looks like at 8 years old. Drinking these insane drinks with your best friends.
Which made me think about this: I would love to see a study on what makes us happy with each passing age.
When Lucy was 6 months old, for example, the thing I could do to make her the happiest was cover my face with my hands and then whip them open like my face was a cuckoo clock and say Peek-a-boo! in this really loud voice.
She would laugh hysterically.
I’ve seen this work with every human baby I’ve ever encountered. Why? No idea. I don’t giggle when I see somebody doing their peek-a-boo face. I mean, I don’t have any problem with it, it’s just not something that I’m hoping somebody does. Babies, they’re probably just waiting around in their little bouncy seat hoping somebody comes along and does peek-a-boo face for them.
Then when our kids were about one year old, all they wanted to do was run around and put books in their mouths. Between babies and puppies I don’t know how you can ever leave books on the floor. Why do you eat so many books, babies and puppies? It’s not even like they think it will taste good but it doesn’t – if anything it exceeds their expectations. Beasley the dog got a taste of books when she was really young and she was all over the house looking for books to put in her dog mouth. When Finn was a baby he would roam the earth looking for books within his reach.
So what changed as an adult? Because I have all kinds of access to books and I’m not putting them in my mouth. Is it that I’m no longer teething? Or is it possible that there’s something wonderful about chewing on a book that society frowns on and so I haven’t tried it?
Today, at 8 years old, Lucy’s happiest thing to do is to play. She says that: Can we play? Like it doesn’t matter what we play, she just wants to play, more than watching shows or video games or even eating candy. You could hand her a folded piece of paper with the secret of happiness written inside and say you can either read this piece of paper or we can go outside and play and before you finished the sentence, the piece of paper would be slowly floating to the ground and there would be a Lucy-shaped hole in the wall and she would be shouting from outside “Come ON! Let’s PLAY!”
Finn, on the other hand, is reaching that age where it’s not just what he wants to do. He now has other factors to consider. For Finn, at age ten, the other factor creeping in is the cool factor. It’s how the world perceives what he’s doing.
I feel like maybe that’s where it all begins to change. That’s the slippery slope to adulthood.
Which I have long been on, of course. And it just makes me wonder.
It makes me wonder if I actually secretly would love that gummy worm drink, but that I can’t possibly sit down and peruse the menu and order the arugula salad and for a drink, the Grape Candy Chill™. I’d feel like an idiot.
And I can’t really make our bed into a fort because, first, I don’t think Liz would love that, but more importantly grown-ups don’t make their beds into forts. Even though in reality have you ever crawled into a really great blanket fort and not gotten a little bit happier? (Like this mega-cool penguin fort we built over Lucy’s bed?)
And I would really like to kick the ball around the house. Even though I always have to say “Don’t kick the ball around the house!” because it might break something. But what’s more fun than kicking a ball around the house? Anything??
I guess this is why I’m thinking about all this:
Lucy and I want to make YouTube videos. But we also don’t know if it would be interesting or if we’d look kind of dumb. So we have to keep telling ourselves that we don’t care if we look dumb or if nobody watched our video.
But the truth is that’s easy to say and hard to execute on.
Yet we just watched a vlog on vloggers giving vlog advice on what vloggers wished vloggers had known when vloggers were just starting out vlogging.
The number one thing?
They wished they had been able to care less about what people thought and just been able to dive into it.
So it’s one thing for me not to order a purple drink with gummy worms. No need to look silly there, right? It’s quite another for me to not start something because I’m afraid of what people will think or say.
Like writing. Writing is always putting myself out there and not knowing if people will think I’m an idiot or stupid or boring.
But writing has also brought me so much joy because I’ve trained myself not to really care what people think.
So we’re trying to learn from that. That’s all. And I figure if I tell people what we’re afraid to do then maybe it will help me be less afraid to do stuff.
And there you have it. Maybe at some point we’ll make a video or two. I hope we do. And it doesn’t matter if people watch it or like it because we won’t care.
Or, more likely, we will totally care. But we’ll do it anyway. Maybe.
Okay, that’s all! Good luck, Daddy and Lucy!!