At the moment, happiness for me is watching a twelve year old girl struggling to breathe because she cannot contain her laughter. It’s seeing the face of our blind and deaf boy light up after I blow on his nose. It is when a 16 year old boy with learning difficulties put his arm around me as he explains the difference between a mango and a coconut. Or it’s Lexi’s sigh of relief when we shut the bedroom door and make a cup of tea when our very long working day has finally finished.
I think happiness is about retaining optimism and sharing in the joy of other people. In such an intense project, our environment is always forcing us to be inward looking. I find that I’m constantly questioning myself and how I deal with situations and respond to things. I’m learning that you have to take life as it comes and make your own happiness. Sometimes I make mistakes or the children can be as annoying as anything or we get frustrated that things aren’t working the way we would like or expect them to. But the only thing that matters to me is the fact that I am here, and that I love these children so much that sometimes I miss a breath with loving them too much. When things are difficult, which is often the case, I’m finding that if you smile first, people will smile with you.