It was Sunday morning. Chloe was sitting on her grandfather’s lap and feeling annoyed by her shoes. She yanked off her right shoe trap and took it right off. My dad was very amused by this action and asked her, “Why did you take off your shoe, Chloe? When did you learn that? Let’s put it back on.” For the next couple of minutes my dad attempted to put the shoe back on whilst giggling and joking with my 11 months old daughter. I smiled ear to ear. I have not heard my dad laughed like that for the longest time. It felt very surreal to see how a simple thing Chloe did affect a stern, rigid and hard to please man like my dad.
When I say hard to please, I really mean that my dad has his own ideals, high standard ones and a tough nut to crack. Those standards, I am sure, had been molded through the decades of his life and had embedded into his character. I do not exactly see eye to eye with my dad, but I cannot deny that his ideals had influenced my definition of happiness. Mine, too, developed through the years. Somehow, its complexity and demands escalates over time. Life gets complicated when you are growing up and getting old, that’s for sure. The more you know, the more you desire. Somehow, it reminds of Adam, Eve and the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden.
Here’s a simple example. If my husband never mentioned to me about induction stove, I would had been satisfied with a regular gas stove, but he did. After I did extensive research, I figured out you need to get a good quality one, if not, it is not even worth it. One day, he took me to the GAGGENAU showroom. And then it happened. You know, that moment, when you see something and a light from the heavens instantly shines brightly upon it, complete with an angelic chorus ringing in your ears. Although, we ended up not getting it, I had made it my personal goal to get a GAGGENAU inductions stove or something in its class one day. My husband promised me a great gas stove. I am not pleased, but content, for now.
In the other hand, it does not take much to make Chloe happy and entertained. She is the happiest little girl in the world when I carry her around the house when I do chores or when her dad comes home from work in the afternoon. Last month, she started dipping in the pool with my Dad and it becomes the highlight of her week.
I will never return to those days when happiness and worries are simple. However, since Chloe was born, I feel that my life has become less complicated. Her every tiny accomplishment, every tiny excitement and every tiny simple happiness becomes mine, a gust of fresh air in my jumbled life. She is a blessing. I’m sure my dad feels the same way.