Sandhya Acharya: The Note

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Like many families, Sandyha Acharya's household has had lots of bubble time. Sometimes, though, that bubble bursts.

Our household, like many others, has been through numerous pandemic pursuits - hikes, swims, mid-day boogies, gardening, baking, board games, and every combination thereof. But one day, the books lying askew, the pom-poms strewn everywhere, the mud-soaked feathers and sticks lying on the carpet, the relentless meal planning, the fights for more screen time—got to me.

I burst.

I spewed some “clean this right now!”, “go to your room!”, “no more video-games!” and then I went to my room and sulked.

Later that day, my nine-year-old handed me a note. He said it was his writing assignment.

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“If you are not feeling cheerful,” the note read. “I can make you feel better by hugging you.”

My heart was already melting.

“And if that doesn’t help,” the note continued, “I will help you by telling you a joke.”

That made me groan and smile at the same time.

But, wait, the note wasn’t done. “And if that doesn’t work as well,” it concluded, “Can you just change your mind?”

Sometimes we all need reminders to step back and see that in spite of all our troubles there are still things to be thankful for; for the books that in spite of lying askew offer straight flights into fantasy. The pom-poms that, even as strewn, offer pops of color in the day. The mud-soaked feathers and sticks reminding us of the gift of nature around us.

The reasons to be grateful are everywhere if we care to look—the comfort of meals, the assurance of limitless connections through our screens, art, music, letters, laughter; the possibilities are endless. And sometimes, being happy is as simple as deciding to be.

I put the note away and, per advice, changed my mind. And just like that, I did feel better.

With a Perspective, I am Sandhya Acharya.

Sandhya Acharya is an author of children’s books.