A child’s simple wisdom: what you need for a happy life


“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret. It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.”Antoine de Saint-ExupéryThe Little Prince

The little one comes into my room to give me a status update on his dragons, and rub it in that I still don’t have my own pure dragon. (Yes, we both play Dragon City on Facebook.)

Then he asks me if I’m writing some more in the blog. I reply that yes, I’m working on a post. He asks what it’s about and if it’s going to take me long because I should go watch his daily combats. I tell him it’s about what people need so they can have a happy life.

“Ah, that’s easy” he says and starts walking towards the door. “I’ll wait for you like five minutes, ok?”

Not so fast little one. How can you resist asking a 9 year old what is needed for a happy life and why it’s easy? So I ask. He loves it when I ask him serious questions.

First he tells me we need games and a laptop so we can have fun. But also a headset so we can play with friends. Because when you’re playing and having fun you’re happy.

Then he adds in the siblings, who, in spite of arguments and other difficulties, always love you best. And that makes you happy. Also, you have someone to buy candy for when you buy some for yourself. And share games. And making your sibling happy makes you happy.

After siblings, he insists everyone needs to have a cat or a dog, but more than one is better. And why? Because you get cuddles and the kitties or doggies have each other too and are happy and then everyone’s “even more” happy.

So far he is rather pleased with himself and the fact that I am very much in agreement with all he says. Then he leans close to me with a naughty grin.

“And then you need to get married.”

“You do?” I ask. “Why?

He gives me a look of what I can only describe as plain shock. And shakes his head.

“How else are you going to do all that stuff grown-ups do and be happy?”

I stop breathing for a second. The stuff that grown-ups do? Dear god, what on earth does he mean? Do I dare ask?

He nods knowingly and reassuringly, as if we’re both in on this great secret. “Yeah, I know ALL about that stuff…the kisses and hugs and then if you hug a lot maybe you get a baby. How else to have babies if you don’t have someone to hug a lot?”

Duh me. Hugs. Whew.

He isn’t done. He reaches for a chocolate on my desk, and I nod that he can have it before he even asks. He unwraps it slowly, eats it, and then continues to tell me you also need children (like him) to love, and money, so you can buy a house, and games, and food, and help many animals. And buy a car of course, his choice still being some sort of BMW, but I can buy whatever car I want if I don’t like the BMW. Oh, and play sports, like football, because that’s fun. And dance sometimes to music like the song we both like, Gangnam style. Because all these things make you happy.

I hug him, his little hand inches towards the bag of chocolates once again and I pretend I don’t notice. I intend to challenge him, so I let him enjoy another little treat.

“Ok so what happens when you have all these things that make you happy but something happens and you get really upset or afraid? You’re not happy then are you?”

He’s not fazed.

“It’s ok mom. You cry a little. And then you have a talk with your heart, and a big hug. “

Conflict and fear management 101…have a talk…with your heart no less, or someone else’s. What a concept! And he didn’t even hear of the Little Prince.

I ask many more questions of course. Turns out that books make us happy, and even cleaning sometimes although honestly, not so much. But buying clothes is good, so are taking trips, chocolate, raspberries with whipped cream, sushi, cuddles, the apps on our smart phones, and summer because we can swim, but winter is nice too if it snows. It’s also important to water the flowers and have a garden, because flowers make you happy.

And if someone is mean to you, you tell them to stop being mean, and if they love you they won’t be mean anymore, but sometimes they’ll still be mean because they’re just upset with themselves and you have to go play anyway, and eventually they’ll get bored with being mean and come to play too and be nice. Oh and as far as being married, I absolutely must do it, but in my particular case, it’s not a good idea to have more babies since I already have him and his brother, and babies need diapers, which are very very yucky. I guess I’ll have to be careful with the hugs!

So there you have it ladies and gentlemen…a must have list for happiness. I love his certainty and the fact that there’s no room for deception, dishonesty or excuses. I love that even though he looks with his eyes, he sees always with his heart.

He did not mention gratitude among the must haves, but it’s implied in his enthusiasm for so many simple, wonderful things we are to make room for in our lives as if there is no other way to live. And he’s right…what other way is there to live?

And after this post I might have to close the blog, because really, what else is there to add.

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