International Day of Happiness: Our Bubble

Emmy Heaton by Emmy Heaton Additional Needs

Emmy Heaton

Emmy Heaton

Hi I'm Emmy, mum to AJ who has cerebral palsy.

Maybe it's a free coffee on your way to work, or an 'on time' bus.

A full wallet, a nice car.

A sale in your favourite shop.

A warm home and food on the table.

Or if you're like me…

It's a smile from your child.

A week with no seizures.

A night with more than four hours sleep.

A medicine syringe with the numbers still on at the end of the week (exciting life, eh?!).

Anyway, I'll move along, so as not to bore you.

Some days you'll smile because that's the only option, because if not, you'd cry.

Like when you've *just* put your son to bed and he wakes up - HOW does he get by on such little sleep?!

You've been awake for 20 hours, you're exhausted but you'll smile, you'll smile at those gorgeous, big brown eyes staring back at you.

You'll smile when you start thinking things like, "well, at least I get to spend more time with him than anyone else..."

Sleep deprivation does funny things to you, like thinking your own 'inside jokes' are funny.

But when you've watched that little life slip away more times than you'd like to count, every hour is a blessing.

Each sleepless night is one that I wouldn't change.

Because when I look into my boys big shiny eyes, I'm suddenly the richest person in the world.

Nothing else matters.

It doesn't matter how much money we don't have, how tired I am or how hard tomorrow will be, surviving on such little sleep.

Our bubble is our happy place.

We entered 'our bubble' just moments after my son was born with a severe brain injury in 2012.

"Babies like Aj don't survive."

Five words from a neonatal consultant that ring around my head on a daily basis..

And I smile, every time I think of those words.

Because he did survive. He showed them!

I haven't always been able to smile when I’ve thought of his struggles… our future.

I've screamed, I've cried, I've stomped my feet and asked "why him?!"

But there comes a time when you have to let go of your vision of happiness only being 'perfect'. And accept that what's in front of you IS perfect.

He may not be to 'outsiders', onlookers, they'll ask you how you do it and quickly exclaim that they couldn't… but you'll know he is perfect, and you couldn't or wouldn't even like to imagine this journey with anybody else by your side, that little boy with the big shiny eyes.

And that feeling, that's happiness.

The best feeling in the world.


'Join the movement for a happier world'.

Smile at a stranger.

Say hi to someone who looks lost.

Offer help when someone's struggling.

Spread love, hope and happiness.

A smile can change a person’s day.


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