Friday, March 27, 2015

Sometimes, You Just Have To Let The Happy Out

I was part of a discussion on FB the other day with fellow triplet Dads about divorce.  One of the Dads is headed that way, another is already well down the road, and of course some of our number is already past that point.

One of the posters said that the divorce rate for parents of multiples is something on the order of 80 percent.  Could 8-in-10 marriages involving multiples really end in divorce?  The number seems simultaneously impossibly high and entirely legitimate.

Two lone outliers
Eight out of ten.
My wife is awesome beyond belief and she deserves the bulk of the credit for keeping this circus running and the lions from eating the trainers (it isn't easy being married to a Super Hero, but that is a post for another time).  Having said that, it hasn't always been easy, on her or me.  During those times, an 80 percent divorce rate seems, well, if not personally relatable, at least a completely reasonable number.  Every kid stresses a marriage and every marriage goes through struggles.  I'm sure I'm not spilling any beans when I say that it hasn't always been easy managing a marriage and triplets.

So what have I done?  Well, getting back to the title of this post: I've let the happy out.

What exactly does that mean?  It is kind of tough to explain, because its more a state of mind.  I would say that its living in the moment.  As the Philadelphia Eagles' Chip Kelly says: Be where your feet are.  In other words, be present and create a world you want to live in moment to moment.  Except that its almost more like doing anything but living in the moment.  I'm almost living above the moment.

As you go through life, you have to remember that at one time, everything was exciting.  Kids are great this way, because you get to see the world through fresh eyes.  Remember when exercise was fun, because it wasn't exercise?  Remember running, just to run, and not because you were late or because you had to lose that last 5 pounds?  Remember when everything was fresh and exciting?  It still is, we have just locked the happiness up.  Sure, a pencil is just a pencil.  But do you know realize just how much of a miracle it is that a pencil even exists?  As we age, as we become adults and get lost in adulthood, sometimes we forget the "common" miracles all around us.

I remember the joy of childhood and I think I know what happened to that feeling.  Life is simultaneously very short and a very long slog.  I like to repeat the following mantra: the days are long and the years are short, which I stole from The Happiness Project's Gretchen Rubin.  Sometimes it feels like the kids' bedtime will never come, and yet, you wake up and they are 3.5 and you wonder what happened.  In all the stress and mundane humdrum of adult life, you lock the happiness up.  Maybe because happiness isn't exactly an exalted position in society.  Happiness is equated with being dense.  The happy idiot.  Ignorance is bliss.  Forrest Gump.  But I reject all this.  I'm letting the happy out.

I like to think we are all super heroes, locked in combat with the muddling, sometimes mundane issues of our lives in our own ways.  It is heroic to apply what we have learned and know to form our lives and make them the best we can.  Its the accumulation of that knowledge and its application that life is all about.  What could make you more of a super hero than the cosmic battle against the dying of the light we held in our eyes and hearts as children?


Sure, you might not have a villain like The Joker to battle against, but the battle against the mundane, the battle against the dying of the light, that is as real an enemy as any super criminal.

Let me try to bring this all back together into one complete, sensible package.  I guess what I'm saying is that, sometimes you have to break out of that routine and protect that light.  You have to realize that, regardless of how overwhelmed or tired you feel, at one time you loved the hustle and bustle and the very living of life.  That thing your wife/husband does that now drives you nuts?  At one time you loved it, appreciated it, or at the very least tolerated it.  What changed?  Nothing really.  Maybe you matured, but have you let the light die, even a little?  The happiness is still there, tucked deep down in its cove, waiting to be let out. All you have to do to rescue it is recognize that it is there and let it out.

So let the happy out.  Go out and be a super hero.  And be sure to comment and let me know how you are a super hero.



  1. Great Post. You are so right about the things that annoy you about your spouse now is often the very thing that you loved about them when you first met! Over the last 14 years of having kids hubby and I have been on the rocks more than once but we've always managed to pull through, simply getting some extra sleep usually helps a lot! Thanks for linking up with #MultipleMadness

  2. Thanks, Katie. We have been together a little more than 10 years and you are so right that making sure you get enough sleep is key. Can't have a healthy kid if you don't have a healthy self!

  3. Wow 80% of couples with triplets divorce - seems a lot but can really relate to it. We have had three in three years and its been so tough but you're so right, you have to focus on the simple. Lovely post

  4. I heard the 80 percent number from another triplet dad, so I can't speak for itstruth, but it seem reasonable.

    Three in 3 years! Wow. I'm a Dad of triplets and that seems like a ton of work even to me. I'm not sure I could handle a newborn while also trying to juggle a 2YO.

    Thanks for stopping by!