Petite Monnaie!

Le bonheur ça se trouve pas en lingot
Mais en petite monnaie!

I’ve had this song echoing about in my head for a while – nearly the whole weekend, in fact. It’s from a kids’ music CD, a compilation of French songs appropriate for kids, this one by Benebar et Associes. It tells a charming story of Sunday family dinners, detailing the happy moments and laughter. In case you need a translation, the gist of it is, happiness isn’t found in bars of gold, but in small change.

So it’s no surprise that it gets stuck in my head. It’s a lesson I need to learn, apparently, again and again – and the one that I am practicing when I do my happiness posts.

Which is what this one is. Because that’s what the weekend was – a succession of little happinesses, bright smiles and tender kisses, where the stormy too-tired preschooler moments weren’t anything too hard to handle.  I thought I’d share a few of my ‘small change’ moments.

  • Cameron’s big blue eyes shining with pride and excitement after karate on Saturday. His instructor asked him to stay a few minutes extra, and he was put through his paces by both the instructor and the assistant. Cameron did pushups and jab-punch-block combinations for them, then karate walk forwards with a jab-punch-block combination. Then … backwards. He’d not really worked at that one before, certainly not with that much stuff to do at each step! He slowed right down, and you could tell he was really thinking hard, focusing on doing it just right. And he did it. For this, he earned another gold stripe, and he’ll be testing for his yellow belt soon.
  • “Annyeong haseyo,” Cameron piped up with to the smiling man in a white uniform, earning a grin, a wave, and a very grave “Annyeong haseyo” in reply. We were on board the ROKS Yang Man Choon, having just had a good look at parts of the ROKS Hwa Cheon – both vessels part of the South Korean Navy, visiting North Vancouver this weekend. It had taken a lot to get Cameron to go on board the ships in the first place – there were odd whistles over the loudspeakers, they had guns on board, and might sail off while we were on them, and you had to walk between two rows of saluting sailors (naval officers?) to board. No way was he going on there! But I insisted. Yes, I haul my kid to interesting places no matter how hard he screams, when I know for sure he’ll like it once he’s there and sob that he didn’t get to go if he doesn’t. In the end it was worth it. He got to sit in the “Captain’s seat” where they steer the boat, and in another seat where he could pretend he was working the controls of the ship – forward, full throttle! Where did he learn that phrase? I don’t know if he was “supposed” to be sitting in those seats. Nobody else was. But they didn’t stop us either. There were ladder-steep stairs that he mastered on his own. And we got to talk about guns. And bombs. There were even pictures. But still, best to me, was Cameron’s ease and cheerfulness, curiosity and sense of adventure, once he got comfortable – even comfortable enough to learn a new way of saying hello.
  • Walking in the hot sun with Cameron and Leif, coffee in hand, heading back to the playground. Cameron pulled his T shirt up, exposing his tummy, a habit he’s had when he’s hot since he was around six months old. I made a laughing comment about my hot boy and my hot man … and Leif imitated Cameron in a silly moment.
  • Sitting in a mall, my arms wrapped around a teary boy. He wants a Buzz Lightyear so bad, one that talks, has wings that pop out, that glows in the dark, has a laser, and his helmet works. But they’re sixty dollars at Zeller’s. In one week we’ll be in the States, and it’ll be cheaper. But it’s hard to explain that to a kid. So I just held him, and let him cry.
  • Drifting off to sleep on the couch with Cameron, arms wrapped around me tightly, leg thrown over mine. He was worn right out. So was I. A nap in the late afternoon sunshine was good and exactly what we both needed.
  • Curled up in bed with Cameron late that night – early evening naps aren’t so good for early nights – trying to help him to calm down enough to sleep. He seemed to settle, so I peeked out through eyelashes, to see his eyes sparkling with silent laughter, and a sweet smile on his face. I had to ask. Softly, “What’re you thinking about, Cameron?”  His answer? “Ribbit.” No further explanation … just a sleepy, content grin, and he rolled over with a sigh.

One response to “Petite Monnaie!

  1. Your post brought tears to my eyes. The good ones. SO much to look forward to with my little one!

    (Who will be ABSOLUTELY FORBIDDEN to read your blog, lest he runaway from my home to be adopted by you!)

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