Finding Happiness in the Journey

posted by Momo Fali on April 23, 2013

My son and I went for a walk last night.

We talked a lot while we were strolling. He likes to talk. One of his favorite things to do is plop down next to you, wherever you are, and ask, “So, what do you want to talk about?” He gets his chattiness from me, for certain. Lately our conversations are all about his behavior and it’s not a pleasant topic, so last night I tried to let him enjoy himself without discussing, what has become, this disruption in our lives.


standing atop the roots of his favorite tree

We didn’t really know where we were walking; there was no destination in mind, no idea where we would turn off the path and exclaim, “This seems a good place to stop.” We just went where our feet took us.

We laughed at dogs playing, we talked to our neighbors, we stopped to watch the ducks swimming and get a glimpse of our reflections in the pond. We were happy. There are few things that bring me as much joy as my daughter’s laugh or an authentic smile on my son’s face.


My son wore his plaid fisherman’s hat and I carried bottle water and a chestful of overwhelming guilt and confusion. As if my own weight weren’t enough!

Our life, in this moment, bears many resemblances to walking out the front door into the unknown. Private school? Public school? Therapy? Meds? What will it take? I like to be prepared when venturing into battle and right now, well…I might as well be going up against a fire-breathing dragon armed with nothing but 16.2 ounces of spring water. But, one way or another, I will slay that sucker. You can be sure of that.

We saw some strange things on our walk; a bird’s foot, lots of goose poop, a wrapped tampon laying in the road, which is far better than an unwrapped tampon, I can assure you. And, we saw beautiful things too; like the blue sky, trees in bloom, and a man sitting on his front porch reading to his wife.

As we have for the past 11 years, we find ourselves on a journey for which we have no map. It’s hard to be lost, but I hope more than anything that my son will be smiling along the way.


  • Shannon

    You’re armed with more than water. You’re armed with an immense love for your son, that is evident in your words.
    I hope he keeps smiling. And you, too.
    And that tree is awesome.

  • Melinna

    A perfect time for me to read this….thank you!

  • Liz

    Sounds like a lovely evening. You both deserve a peaceful moment of just being, and thank you for being so generous with your smiles 🙂

  • Lisa mercer

    Dear Diane. You are not lost just a fork in the road a path that will join back to the road soon. I have this plaque in my kitchen. Actually it tin and hanging on my door the damn thing bangs every open and closing of door. I was going to fix that but decided the constant banging is a reminder to read it and live by it. Goes like this” Why we try and teach our children About life, Our children teach US what life is about You were meant to take that walk see that man look at that bird for a reason. A therapist once said to me. Take 15 min and do whatever your kid wants(with in reason ya know they can be creative little buggers) anyway 15 min of joy for them does you both good. No worries no rules just 15 to enjoy your child. It works I need some of my own advice. I think I will try it tonight!! God bless you. It’s just a fork in the road. Lisa

  • tara

    I am totally in that wandering without a map. Granted, it’s way less scary because I don’t have an 11 year old son, but it’s terrifying nonetheless. One foot in front of the other, deep breaths, and trying to find the humor in everything is my daily goal. You’re awesome and even if you are lost, you are a wonderful beacon and your son is so lucky to have you on his side.

  • meleah rebeccah

    You’re all going to be fine. I promise. I am terribly sorry you’re going through such a rough time right now. But I am very glad you were able to find some happiness in the midst of all this craziness. And I love you. Stay strong.

  • Melisa

    I’m so glad you were able to share some quiet moments in the middle of what is such a difficult and confusing time! xo

  • twobusy

    For whatever it’s worth: I deeply and fervently hope the same for you and your son.

  • Mr Lady

    You should have also brought spitballs. Just sayin.

  • Vikki

    I was in a similar place with my son a few years ago. I have no words of wisdom and can’t make any promises but keep walking and know you’re in my thoughts.

  • AlisonH

    My cousin wanted to go see the marathon; she had two kids visiting and their three kids under the age of four. They decided at the last minute not to, but to go to the JFK library instead. They had the place to themselves pretty much but decided to keep it short and went home (just before the fire broke out there). By the time they got home, it was clear they needed to find out what on earth was going on out there.

    And then they stayed behind closed doors like the rest of their area and let the officers do their jobs and they did it well.

    And out of all the grief and pain, they and theirs were safe in the end, against all the odds. Others were not, and they would do anything for them even though they do not know them.

    Your family will be safe. You are all guided by love, and the rest is just temporary background noise. And honey if I lived anywhere the least bit nearby I would be volunteering right now in his classroom to help out, because grandma types and the kids they love… If only we could shrink the continent a little. I would be there.

  • Mare

    What a beautiful post. It’s true, we have to just savor the sweet moments in life, b/c there is enough crap to break the heart. I am praying for discernment for you to know how to best help your son. I am often ‘lost’ and just have to wait on God for direction. It’s often a long wait. But He is faithful and loves your boy more than you do. Just keep walking.
    from The Dugout

  • Ashley

    I just have to say, I love reading your blog.
    Even through the struggles, it’s a beautiful life, is it not? 🙂

  • K A B L O O E Y

    Oh, boy, did I read this at a good time. Your post and all the comments made me feel that I’m on a trail and not hacking through impenetrable brush. Would love a bit of a clearing right about now.

  • Arnebya

    I have no doubt you will make your own path; screw maps. They get us lost anyway.

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