“Life is so much work,” I complained to my mother, unsure of what the response would be. I half expected a “Get-over-it” answer. I kind of anticipated a “But-it’s-worth-it” reply.
To my surprise, I got a sudden “Oh my gawsh I know!”
She said it in one breath, like she’d been holding it in for days. As if she wanted so badly to share this verity with someone, but wouldn’t dare be the first to complain.
We went on.
“You have to do dishes once, sometimes twice a day. Laundry needs to be done weekly.”
“Vacuuming, mopping, dusting; and those are just chores in the house. Then you have to actually go to work to make money.”
“And some of us have school!”
Suddenly we were interrupted.
“JUST BE GLAD YOU’RE ALIVE!!!!!” we heard a little angel yell. My 6 year old niece came flying through the kitchen, halo and all. “Just be glad to be alive guys.” she repeated once more.
“You could not be alive. And then what?"
My mom agreed with her, obviously not wanting to crush her young, naive attitude towards life. But me? I wanted to set the angel straight.
Well yes, sugar plum. That’s easy for you to say! “Happy to be alive.” Ha!
You’re biggest fear is bats being in the woods.
You’re biggest disappointment is taking a nap in the afternoon.
Every penny you find gets spent on toys.
You can still get candy on Halloween!
You’re dreams haven’t met reality.
These are the exact words that flew through my head at the time. I wanted to be proud of my niece. I wanted to recognize her young wisdom and commend her. But what I really felt was sorry for her. Sorry that she would someday be disappointed. Sorry that the world will condemn her for being positive, calling her "naïve," and not take her wisdom seriously calling her "young."
But dwelling on her words I've started to feel more for them. I had a very hollow response when the words seemed to only skim my mind. But it started to sink in. Be happy to be alive.
First of all, she's six. And she is VERY wise. Most of what she says is very insightful. And I don't ever want to be the empty vessel making her feel like her words mean nothing.
I see so much of my younger self in her, with her positive outlook on life. I'm just afraid for her. I don't want her to believe people when they say innocence is a bad thing. I don't want her to ever feel naïve. And mostly I want her to always hold on to that feeling, to be happy to be alive.
I just get so caught up in the negatives I never think about being happy to be alive. I get caught up in blaming Adam and Eve for this life, and dreaming of Heaven. "How can I be happy to be alive when if I'm dead I'll be in Heaven?"
That's my thought process. And it's wrong.
What makes me think I'm going to Heaven when God clearly put me on Earth for a purpose and all I do is whine and complain and not complete that purpose?
It's something I need to work on for sure, and I thank God everyday for my little angel!