Serenity Now

It’s all about Desire.

We achieve happiness by the satisfaction of our desires and when our desires are frustrated, we experience suffering. Which, if you’re a Buddhist or a Red Sox fan, is the nature of existence

I just made a sport ball joke. Now maybe the jocks won’t break my glasses.

If you don’t read Ask Your Dad Blog, I can’t say you’re a failure as a parent, but you may, in fact, be a communist. If you do read it, you’ll know that in his last post he talks about Mother’s Day, and having to learn the same lesson over and over again (as long as you’re there, this post is another of my all-time favorites) And while it’s by no means particular to it, the idea of re-learning the same thing multiple times is as much a part of fatherhood as coffee and gravity.

-3 days of a certain behavior does not mean it’s here to stay.

-“Baby Proof” is a loose term, and too often misapplied.

-He will pee on you.

These are all lessons I’ve received repeated instruction on from my chubby little professor. Every time I think I’ve passed the class, I find myself held back once again.

Getting out the door, for example. We’re going outside. He likes running around outside. He likes going to the playroom at the gym, which is what we’re doing. We tell him the plan. He’s into it. We move to get him dressed. He fusses and runs away. We give him a count down. He agrees to be helpful. Countdown runs out, he fusses and runs away. We detail the toys in the playroom. He’s excited! We move to put a diaper on and away he goes.

It’s like negotiating with North Korea over here.

I could fill more pages with the tactics we used just this morning than a fantasy writer on quaaludes. Needless to say, this makes for a difficult morning for everyone involved.

Which brings me back to desire. (Like that? How I came full circle? That’s a rhetorical device that I don’t know the name of) The path to happiness is through satisfaction of desire, so you can either work really hard and spend a lot of energy and time trying to satisfy all your desires, or you can try to eliminate your desires, thus making happiness easier to attain.

This is another lesson I’m trying to apply, except for “desire,” read “expectation.” Rather than have my expectations frustrated, and thus experience suffering, I try to eliminate them.

If I don’t expect a little dude to let us put clothes on him after he agrees to do so on 3 separate occasions, then I can’t really get upset while I’m wrestling a wailing bundle of socks and recalcitrance. And I’ll find myself in that situation regardless of desire, negotiation, or spiritual predisposition, so I might as well be at peace with it. Relatively speaking.

Welcome to fatherhood: finding new ways to not be angry about shit.



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3 responses to “Serenity Now

  1. Helpful, as usual, sansei! Nicely juxtaposed against buddhism- some hinduism to add to the thought-storm: Attributed to Lord Hanuman, “when I don’t know who I am, I serve you, when I know who I am, I am you”. Another road to roam to Rome…Serenity NOW!!

  2. Dam auto-correct. Forgive me sensai.

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