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Posted 2020-06-08 Tags: personal family tildes

Most of what I am writing these days are things that are prompted by questions asked by others, often on Tildes. This is no different. The question was "What are the things that make you happy?"

To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of ...

Oh wait, I've misinterpreted the question. I actually try to find joy in many areas of my life. Here are things that I did this weekend that brought happiness into my life.

Hugs! I hugged each of my children and my wife. Hugging, or even just putting an arm around someone, is a great way to be close.

Saying "Yes". Whenever one of my kids asks to do an activity of some kind, I try to approach it with the mindset of "how can I make this possible." Sometimes it is simple - "Dad, want to play tennis?" "Yes!" and we go and play tennis. Sometimes it is less simple - "Dad, can I climb on the roof?" and I try to figure out a way to turn that into a "yes" in a way that's safe and meets the wants of the kid asking.

Building things with my hands. When I was 12 - 30 this would never have been something that I wanted to do. My dad is a master carpenter, and I guess the apple hasn't fallen far from the tree, because I love to build things. This weekend's minimal project was a new sawhorse that supports our canoe - the old one had rotted.

Making good food. I'm "the cook" in the house, and part of it is just because I love to prepare (and eat) food. I try to do the prep with my kids whenever possible. Some of the good meals this weekend included homemade pizza (we use naan bread for the crust usually), full breakfast, barbecued chicken with a side salad, and nachos. It's sometimes difficult to find things that my unadventurous kids like to eat, but nachos and pizzas are popular because you can customize them per person, so we can have one section with jalapenos and olives and cheese, and one section with cheeeeeeeeeeeeeese only.

Having a well kept yard. This is distinct from actually doing the keeping of said yard, which I tend to dislike, but I like having a yard where the yardwork has been done, and to watch the kids run around, and to toss a frisbee... it's great.

Playing music, or listening to it being played. We have a very musical household - my oldest daughter sings and plays piano, my younger daughter plays piano and I'm teaching her how to play guitar. I play a bunch of instruments and sing, and my wife sings and plays piano. My son is also in the house. If nobody is making music, we probably have the radio on.

Learning something. Most of the media I consume, especially from YouTube, is "edutainment". They are videos of making or learning or finding out. This weekend, I learned how to use SketchUp - I'm not a pro by any means, but I did get a good idea about the structure I'm planning to build over my kids' sandbox in the backyard.

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