Friday, February 9, 2007


My son made the household some bathroom passes the other day. (I love thinking about his thought process: Well, I used up all the time on the Gameboy for the day, and it's too cold to ride my bike. . . What the hell--I'll make us some bathroom passes.)

He tailored them to each family member. Mine read:


That's right, people. INSTANT authority. Excuse me, sorority member in the expensive restaurant who won't stop shouting to her parents how much her "big sister" wanted to be matched with her? Might you tone it down so I can concentrate on my own family? No? Well, maybe this card will help you change your mind. You read that right. Grown-up. Parent.

I got more of a kick out of my bathroom pass than maybe was warranted. And I think it might have been because of the surprise of it all. One of the experts whose advice I followed was positive psychologist Martin Seligman. Seligman claims that there are certain guidelines for getting the maximum pleasure out of life and that one of them is the element of surprise. He suggests you try to surprise yourself, or even better, stage small surprises for your loved ones.

My boy, obviously, wasn't trying to stage a surprise for me, but that was the end result: a nice surprise of how he sees me. I'm thinking it was the surprise of a new perspective. I mean, I know that I'm a parent and a grown-up, but I tend to get caught up in how much it feels like I'm making it up as I go along.

Also, I like the novelty of having bathroom passes.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

I just clicked over here after seeing the link on Gretchen Rubin's page. Very funny! I like your idea that little surprises can help with the quest for happiness on a daily basis.
Those bathroom passes are classic. I hope you save them for the day you get to roast your son at his Rehearsal dinner.
I'm gonna check out your book on Amazon!