I’m not in the mood for laughing right now!
She turned into our Music room, turned on the CD player, plopped on to the couch and closed her eyes to listen to Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.
If you marry me, I’d be a perfect saint! You could make me into anything you want.
But I can’t change the feeling. And it would be a lie if I said I do, when I don’t.
My daughter knows more about this in first grade than I did at 18 when I spent a year in South America.
Latin Americans are stereotypically passionate. They don’t handle feelings, but let them pass through as life energies. I learned this after my good friend Fernanda was snubbed publicly by an ex-boyfriend’s new fling.
I walked her home, chatting about nothing important. At her front gate, she thanked me for keeping her company and said good-bye. Then she yelled toward the kitchen,
Tell everybody I’m in a bad mood. They mustn’t bother me!
That evening I asked Fernanda how her family handled her request for space.
What do you mean?
I may as well have asked how her family felt about her laughter or need for time with friends. Her routine to recover from life’s slights and mood breakers fazed no one at her home.
This was a revelation to me, because I thought her dramatic license a bit self-important.
Years later, I heard Barney, the purple dinosaur sing a Spanish version of the children’s classic “If You’re Happy and You Know It“. This alternative version included two verses, “If You’re Sad and You Know It” and “If You’re Angry, And You Know It,” both of which are absent from the English version. Latin children are coaxed to frown if they are sad, and stomp if they are angry.
Bad moods come and happy moods go, every day you breathe.
When upset, Jo March turned to her notebooks to write or “scribble”, as she called her writing.
My 6 yr. old finds listening to Jo’s story lifts her mood. I’m happy to see her take action. Hopefully, like Jo, she’ll also someday find Creative work to channel all of life’s moods into.