The New Domesticity: The Happiest Hour
“I want to hear the fishy song again,” Elijah grinned. We reconfigured the goldfish crackers on the table and repeated our silly little song: “Five little fishies swimming near the shore, one swam away . . . and then there were four!” Accordingly, the fishies mysteriously disappeared, one by one.
As silly as the song was, it was a sweet moment shared with a pre-school-aged friend. It also served as a reminder that kids don’t require much to be entertained! Five goldfish and my wobbly voice certainly don’t add up to a lot . . . but the focused attention an adult gives to a child is invaluable.
Humans crave that connection, that understanding that this very moment, these very people, are worthy of attention. Louisa May Alcott highlights this in “Little Women.” As “Marmee” comes home and gathers her daughters about her, we read, “Mrs. March got her wet things off, her warm slippers on, and sitting down in the easy chair, drew Amy to her lap, preparing to enjoy the happiest hour of her busy day.”
We don’t often equate “the happiest hour” with a lapful of noisy children. But what if we could?