Today’s “happiness” is something that’s surprisingly selfish.
I’m a car seat tech. A certified, trained Child Passenger Safety Technician, to be exact. It’s very rewarding volunteer work, of course (and for most CPSTs, it’s volunteer work) and who can argue with the value of keeping kids safe in cars. In that respect, I always appreciate having the chance to participate in car seat check events. Today I worked a seat check event in a very low-income, primarily Spanish-speaking area of a very large city, and having kids come in with no car seat (or an outgrown, expired, broken, and/or recalled seat) into an appropriate, correctly used seat – well, it’s kind of hard to explain how great that feels.
But the real reason that I do the car seat stuff … it’s because I like it. I have fun doing it, I really enjoy spending time with my car seat “peeps,” etc. And not least of all is the fact that I’m really good at it, and other people know it. (This is where the kind of selfish part comes in.) It feels great to have the people in charge tell me “BookMama, we’re so glad you came today!” and when I leave, tell me what a great job I did and thank me again for coming, for staying to help the very last car (I always seem to get the stragglers, LOL), etc. Sometimes they even assign me to a new tech as a sort of mentor to make sure they’re trained well and are telling caregivers what they should be telling them. I love being at home with my kids, but let’s face it, at the end of the day no one ever tells me “Bookmama, thanks so much for taking care of your kids all day! That was some killer PB&J you made Book Boy for lunch – just the way he likes it. And don’t worry that the house is a mess, we’re just glad you could be here for us today.” Yeah, not so much.