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Here’s what triggers a mighty sadness for me: Juxtapostition of happy-sad. If on a normal day in March I hear about a young boy’s bike getting stolen, I’m sad but probably won’t need to watch a Seinfeld rerun to cheer myself up.
So imagine how I felt years ago on a visit to my kids when they were at their dad’s house. My daughter dashed upstairs all excited to show me her new Spice Girls poster. As she ran downstairs with the large paper poster billowing, it tore.
Her face crumpled, my heart shattered and all these years later I feel a rock in my chest when I think about that moment, which I do more often than I eat ice cream.
Needless to say this is completely inconsequential compared to other happy-sads, one obvious example being the plane crash in which John F. Kennedy, Jr. and 2 others died just as his cousin was about to get married.
Vacations offer myriad risks for happy-sad, which is one reason I often choose instead to hang out at home with the dog. (One friend calls family vacations an oxymoron.)
I agree with a friend who said, “You can’t be happier than your least happy child.”
I wish I could have protected my daughter from the torn Spice Girls poster and every other hardship life has to offer. All I can do though is tell myself these experiences build character and hopefully prepare them to deal with real problems.
Any other suggestions for coping with these kinds of white girl worries?