Today was NattieFriday. It happens every other week. I pick my granddaughter up at preschool, and we get to spend the rest of the day together. Usually, we gear it toward something she'd especially enjoy; doting grandparents have that luxury.
Most recently, we stumbled upon her affinity for the soft pretzel joint in the local mall. So after we picked her up today, we cut around town to get to the place with great pretzels--and the much coveted caramel sauce to dip them in.
It was pretty cold here today, in spite of the brilliant sunshine beating down from heavenly blue skies. Colder than it's been most of the winter, so Nattie had on her thick winter coat. After eating our pretzels, and then leaving-- since when asked, Nattie needed nothing at the mall, we were almost to the doors when she stuck her hands in her coat pockets. With her right hand she retrieved a pair of dirty socks. Through giggles she said, "I forgot to give these to mommy".
What followed was her left hand retrieving from her pink jacket pocket, two strings of beads, one blue, one purple. Her face lit up with delight and her eyes fairly twinkled when she said through a big smile, "Look grammie! I forgot these were in my pocket!" She proceeded to put on the necklaces, and she looked like a little princess for the effort. Like a happy little princess.
Pap said, "You know what I always find in my pocket that I forget is there?"
She shook her head no as we continued across the parking lot.
"Lint. Sawdust. Dirt."
Then do you know what her grammie (me) almost said???? I had to bite my tongue; it was so close to coming out. I wanted to tell her that it's a really good day when you reach your hand in your coat pocket and find money you forgot was in there.
Yeah... I almost said it.
And you know what stopped me? That look of complete joy on her face as she slid those necklaces on. How could finding money ever compare with finding something that brought such delight? Such complete joy?
She has all of her life to form the misunderstanding that money is happiness. And if she's really lucky, she'll develop a realistic perspective about money--in the bank, or discovered in a jacket pocket. It's just money, not a thing of delight.
I write this without trying to deny a truth: A lack of money can cause a lot of things that aren't good. Stress is high on that list, and unhappiness for a lot of different reasons. I've been there.
But in one of those complex laws of life, the exact opposite isn't true. Having money doesn't necessarily equate with having happiness.
But...sometimes a little string of purple or blue plastic princess beads does.
It's all in perspective. And sometimes, it's a lot more joyful to see things through the eyes of a child