The Forbidden Question

It’s 8 o’clock on a Thursday evening and time for my daughter to go to bed.

I pop my head into her room to tell her lights out, and before I say anything…

She looks up to me…
And innocently says:

“What do you want momma?”

And in only a matter of seconds (a blink of the eye really) the following conversation goes on in my head:

What do you mean, what do I want?
This sentence is hard to grasp when the question I’m typically thinking of answering is:
What do you want?

Do you want your breakfast in the morning? Do you want your lunch packed for school? What about soccer? Do you need a ride? Yep! That’s me. I can do that!

A clean the house? Washed and folded laundry? Spic and span bathroom floors? (OK, that might be going a little far… but you get the point!) What do you want? I can do all those things and MORE for you…

But what do  I   want??

Seriously, all that swirled through my head, yet within only moments I am back to the reality of 8:00 (well… maybe 8:01 now).

And all I say back to my daughter and her unknowingly loaded questions is:

“Lights out honey. You have school tomorrow.”

And I head downstairs to the sound of silence.


But it’s there now, lingering in my head, the forbidden question, asked at the “question witching hour.”
(a.k.a. the hour when the kids are asleep, my day is closing, and all I really have left to do is… Think.)

What do I want?

I stare out at the darkness and ponder…

Ponder something I just don’t seem to be able to come up with an answer to.

  • Sometimes I want silence (on those days when there is no silence to be found).
  • Sometimes I just want to get away from it all (during those days, months, weeks where I feel I haven’t had a break).
  • Sometimes I want my health back or the health back of a loved one…

But right now, what do I want?

Slowly I begin to realize, that at this moment I want none of those things above.

Silence comes and goes – but it is silent right now.
Get away? Sure, I could, but today there is no place like home.
Furthermore, miraculously, no one is sick (a taboo remark to even think!)

And for just a moment I realize:

What do I want?
Nothing right now.

And that’s very rare.

And it feels good.

Family Happiness

I cover my legs with the warmth of my favorite blanket and snuggle into my favorite reading chair intent on enjoying a moment that I am certain will go away soon.

A moment that deserves to be enjoyed.

Author’s *Very Important* Note: It’s funny, because I had a really hard time coming up with a topic in my life to blog about last week (thus the fun, educational yet somewhat impersonal Blog Stalking Guide) and in hindsight, I think I was just scared to blog that I was momentarily happy. Because sometimes, I feel that the only thing more frowned upon then the Forbidden Question of: What do I want? is the Forbidden Answer of: Nothing, I’m happy as is.

Leave a Comment: Why do we often feel bad about saying we’re happy? (Or is that just me?)


Today I am linking up with Just.Be.Enough.
Because you shouldn’t be afraid to admit every once in a while:
“YES! I am happy.”
(no matter how long or brief the moment of happiness lasts)

Just.Be.Enough. has a mission to empower, inspire, and remind women, parents
and children that the time has come to celebrate ourselves.

This entry was posted in Blogging and/or Writing, Family and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to The Forbidden Question

  1. Never be afraid to admit you’re happy! I’m so glad you had that moment. Nothing more wonderful than realizing your content {especially if the realization comes with a moment of silence in an often-noisy home and under your favorite afghan!}
    michelle @ this little light recently posted..Bad Hair Day

    • Kate says:

      I never seem to have trouble admitting my happiness to myself… mostly just to others. And it’s not like I want to gloat about it – I just want to be able to talk about it sometimes :). Thanks for reading and your comment Michelle!

  2. Elena says:

    I think that some people feel like they need to compete even at being happy—so it can make wanting to share hard knowing that someone else, even a good friend, will not just take the joy at face value. I have had many a conversation about this with some friends about being happy and successful in the social media space–instead of feeling inferior when people are happy we should be applauding (and learning from) those that have found success.
    Elena recently posted..Adding Phsyique 57 into my Fitness Routine

    • Kate says:

      It’s this “competition over who is the happiest” that drives. me. NUTS! Really, is anyone ever happy all the time? I can answer that easily – no. What’s hard though, is when you know you are happy, and you also know so many others that are not. I think this is what tends to hold me back when it comes to sharing the occasional times of happiness…

  3. Tania Elfersy
    Twitter: PurpleLeavesRed

    Perfect! That’s a great thing to want – nothing more than the content moment. May you have many more evenings like those 🙂

  4. I see from the picture where your heart lies in the Buckeye/Michigan rivalry! (talking about our email)

    It’s so nice to have a happy moment and really see it, in the moment, isn’t it? I love that your daughter’s short and easy question (to her) unleashed such an introspective and fulfilling moment for you.
    Missy | Literal Mom recently posted..Expert Advice on Long Term Marital Bliss

    • Kate says:

      Sometimes the most innocent questions can turn into so much more huh?

      P.S. Don’t ask, and I won’t tell (talking about our email)… but pictures probably do speak louder than words. 🙂

  5. I think there is too much leaning towards griping – myself included. Focusing on what you have and being grateful for it is the best happiness you can get. Great that you can get to that place more often than others..
    Coffee Lovin’ Mom recently posted..This PITA is becoming a real pain in the ass..

  6. Sara says:

    That’s fantastic, Kate!! 🙂

  7. Laura
    Twitter: laura1075

    I think it’s great to admit when you are happy. There is nothing wrong with it at all. And I think that we have to remember to enjoy the small moments more often.
    Laura recently posted..2012: The Year of ME

    • Kate says:

      Me too… me too Laura… but why do I hesitate? I think it is because I also know that there are so many people that don’t share my happiness…

  8. Kimberly at Rubber Chicken Madness
    Twitter: RubberChickenMa

    Love love love this! It’s become the mantra of my life. I’m happy because I’m okay to be imperfect. I’m happy because I have what I have — nothing more, nothing less. And I’m happy because the people who drive me the battiest, are safe and sound upstairs in their rooms, breathing, dreaming, living.

    Amen, Mama. Amen.
    Kimberly at Rubber Chicken Madness recently posted..Liberty Spikes

  9. You and I are almost sharing a brain today! 🙂 Happiness, as you know, is on my mind, too.

    I’ve never quite thought about it this way, but you’re right that we seem to hide happiness sometimes. Is it guilt, or shame? I don’t know. I’m not sure I have an answer (yet!), but I feel compelled to embrace happiness from now on.
    Missy @ Wonder, Friend recently posted..Some Questions About Happiness

    • Kate says:

      That’s what I thought when I saw your post

      “You and I are almost sharing a brain today!”

      Ha! 🙂 Can’t wait to read about your “scientific study” on happiness!

  10. Ahhh, so true. I often wonder what I need or what I should prioritize. You know, to make things better. Perchance less hectic. Or even relaxing. But then I realize i thrive in this environment of constant movement. I love the pace. I love my family. I may think of time away (and take it occasionally), but generally love being smack dab in the middle of it all!
    Amy ~ Eat. Live. Laugh. Shop. recently posted..Back when Elmo ruled the world.

    • Kate says:

      You and me both! Smack dab in the middle of it all 🙂 I may complain sometimes… but I love it!

      P.S. I hope you were able to de-cluttered and purge your Reader successfully last night! 🙂

  11. Shell says:

    Your disclaimer made me think.

    B/c if someone does say there isn’t anything else they want right then, people think that wow, you must have the perfect life. Instead of understanding that we’re just content in our situation.
    Shell recently posted..My Kid Irritates Me Because…

  12. Luke says:

    LOVE that quote! I have this one posted up in my office, “There really isn’t an ideal relationship, its how you deal with the imperfections of the relationship that makes it ideal.”

    The paradox of perfection within the imperfection. It’s a glorious life, isn’t it?

    Great post Kate. Right there with ya.
    Luke recently posted..My High School Self

  13. Pingback: Love is Grand? | On-The-Go Momma

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