I was noticing that I hadn't written anything recently which qualified for the heading "Happy Things" and that's not how I want to be. There are so many things I am happy about!
Here's just one. This past summer, I gave my alien teenager many options for how to spend his time. Working with dogs and cats at the SPCA, for one, and several other options. He seemed absolutely unmotivated and unwilling to try anything at all. After a few days of him lying around, I informed him that he was going to be working with me. There are always things to do around an office, and I alone had enough to keep him busy for at least the first day.
After some weak protests, he very soon became comfortable at my office, and worked in the mail room and helped others with basic tasks. When he went to his dad's for a week, at least a dozen people would ask me where he was. They liked having him around. The final proof of success came this week, though, when I had a hearing in court one morning and offered to return home to pick him up for work. He could have said no thanks, but instead was very anxious to get back to the office, and when I pulled up to the house, he was totally ready to go (not the norm for this teenager). And, when he had the option to go in for a half day on Friday or not, I didn't even have to ask him because I heard him tell others that he would definitely be in on Friday--even if mom wasn't!
Friday was his last day at the office before he returned to high school. I was playing "catch-up" due to the shortened workday for us, but my son was used to walking a couple of blocks by himself to get a sandwich for lunch--in fact, he really enjoyed the independence--so he picked up lunch for both of us and brought it back. A little bit later, he texted me that he was "going out again"--not unusual, no problem.
Before I next saw the kid, one of the secretaries stopped by my office to tell me what a great young man he is, such a gentleman, so mature and well-spoken. Then the HR director passed me in the hall and complimented him again--he's so friendly, and so nice and outgoing, but not rambunctious--(her son is 4 years younger.) And our receptionist just gushed that he is such a delight, and "such a cutie!!" One mentioned that he had joined them for lunch, but I just thought they ate in the kitchen together.
On our way home I learned that 5 or 6 (you don't want to question too closely) women from our office had gone out to a nearby diner for lunch and had invited him to come along, and even though he had already eaten his sandwich, he went along with them, had a soda, and had apparently charmed them all! (It's ok with me that my son is more popular at the office than I am. I've never been into popularity contests. ;-))
Every time I think of my boy, I get a warm glow in my heart, and it's just so nice to know that he really is a sweetheart--to know that I'm not just completely taken in by the fact that he's my son. I've always thought he was someone very special, and it's just such a happy thing to know that so many other people--who wouldn't have to say a word about it--think so too!