The Secret to Joy

I wish I could find where I originally saw this, but somewhere I read that one of the secrets to happiness is connecting with strangers.  My husband is fantastic at this.  He will talk to anyone.  Everywhere we go, he makes a new friend.  This morning, we went out to breakfast.  The tables in the café were close together and we kind of created a spectacle, wedging Charlotte’s giant car seat into a chair and coaxing Madeline into sitting  at our table, as opposed to the neighboring one.  There was also a flurry of coats and hats to deal with and my giant mama purse with snacks, wipes, diapers and books and all the regular purse stuff.  We dominated the aisle for what felt like a half-hour but was probably only two minutes.  The two gentlemen next to us commented on our peaceful baby and when I finally sat down, the older of the two gentlemen said, “See?  Everything always works itself out.”

So we struck up a conversation.  The younger guy (who was not young) worked at the Garden so we talked sports for a minute.  The older gentleman was a retired pediatrician so we raved about Children’s Hospital.  We even talked politics, but without getting contentious.  When our places came, we turned our attention to eating and the two men had their own discussion.  When it was time to leave, we said good-bye and thanked them for a lovely conversation.

Then we went over to the resale shop to look at an armoire I had seen two days ago.  It was gone, of course, but we ended up chatting with the woman in front of us in line.  She seemed a touch unstable, but pleasant enough.

Then we went home to sell our too-large Thule box to a couple who saw it on Craig’s List.  They were charming and pleasant.  John amiably helped them mount the giant box to their roof.

John and I called it an exceptionally good morning.  Would it have been as heartening to only talk to each other at breakfast, ignore the crazy lady and just take the couple’s money and go back into the house?  Probably not.  Will we ever see any of these people again?  Probably not. But in being open to what the day presented, we had a more pleasant day.  I have no clue about the psychology behind this, but it made me feel good.

And Madeline got a new Curious George for a buck.  Life is good.

Discussing happiness and acting like I know what I’m talking about is making me tired, so I’ll switch gears.

Why do baby pants have pockets?

What is she supposed to put in there? Her keys?

Why doesn’t she do this all the time so we don’t have to keep track of those infernal binkies?

And Madeline says hi.

Go forth and talk to strangers.

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  • 5kidswdisabilities  On January 23, 2010 at 11:39 pm

    Cute, cute pictures. I get a lot of joy out of my children also. Isn’t it awesome?
    Lindsey Petersen

  • Kristin  On January 24, 2010 at 12:25 am


    Thanks. I checked out your blog, too– you have a very full plate! I’ll be posting about our adoption as we go forward. Right now, all I have is big pile of paperwork. 😦

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