A Peculiar Way to Know Your Kids Are Happy

It is my ultimate desire as a parent to provide an environment of peace in my home. One might think it would be the intense way my children are engaged in play that would clue me in to their contentment or the quiet way they focus on a project.

But truthfully, I have complete confirmation that my children are at peace when they pass gas. Laugh at me, or even cringe, but when I check on the kids at night and they pass gas as I tuck them in, my heart leaps knowing they are in such comfort... every part of their being, loose and relaxed.

I was in a yoga class years ago and mat-to-mat with the yogis and yoginis around me left no room for sneaking out a quick toot. When most of the class chuckled at the random rippling sound, the instructor corrected us with an eye awakening observation:

“Don’t laugh! It is great that you are farting. It means your body is becoming so relaxed that you are truly releasing. Good for you!”

When the kids were infants, Peter and I would cheer when they burped and we sang songs of praise when they pooped. Were we crazy to take joy in these bodily functions back then?

I suspect not, because as soon as I realized that I took delight in hearing them toot, I started pay attention to other parents in action and they, too, celebrated the sound of a belch or the passing of wind.

I even read Brad Pitt to say in an interview, “You know, you can write a book, you can make a movie, you can draw, paint a painting, but having kids is really the most extraordinary thing I've ever taken on. And, man, if I can get a burp out of that [baby], that little thing, I'll feel such a sense of accomplishment."

I'm right there with you Brad, because when they are that small, getting a burp out of their tiny body is enough to make an exhausted parent sigh with relief as baby settles in for a nap.

One day, that cute little toot will turn into a violation of social etiquette, but I imagine that even when my kids are teenagers, I will take some joy in knowing they are tucked in bed and cutting the cheese.

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