A child's happiness is pure, unadulterated joy.
I wish I can say the same for every child in this world, but there are a lot of kids who aren't as lucky, or have lesser reasons to smile.
We don't always give in to whatever BabyMoo wants, especially when it comes to luxury items, or things which we feel that he can still do without. We want to teach him the concept of having to earn what he wants, and that he is very fortunate to not have to worry about where his next meal is coming from.
It's never too young to start.
My late Granny used to regale me with lots of stories, growing up. Mostly spun around real life lessons to be learnt, and many of these stories perhaps shaped me to have the mindset which I have now, and the values which I hope to impart in the boy. Until today, I am constantly reminded of a story which she told me about the 'Crying Ricelets'.
"Rice Village is just like any ordinary village... with many families living together as a community. They grow together, and revel in the tropical conditions. Each family would definitely comprise of DaddyRice, MummyRice, and their Ricelets. When they are harvested and make their way to the table, they are always served as a family."
"Look!" she would say - "you've left a few Ricelets on the plate! They are crying, because they are all alone now, since you've eaten Daddy and MummyRice."
She would also tell me that there are so many other hungry children in the world... who would gladly have half of what's on my plate. I would always finish my meal, because I didn't like knowing that these Ricelets didn't have a Mummy or Daddy to take care of them, and to show that I appreciate having a full tummy. I always felt bad to see starving children, or those who are less fortunate than I am.
It's amazing how stories like that remain ingrained in our memories... even though I'm not sure how effective it would be for the savvy and smart generation Z.
I'm still going to try.
I want to be able to make every child smile.
Even for awhile.
BabyMoo doing his little part.