In the book Wonder by R. J. Palacio, August Pullman discovers the thrill of a standing ovation at his sister’s play when she receives one after her performance. “Everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their life because we all overcometh the world.” Auggie never imagined he would ever receive a standing ovation due to his facial deformities. When he is awarded the top award in his fifth grade for his kindness and strength that touched the hearts of most who knew him, he is surprised and elated and doesn’t feel so shy when everyone starts taking his picture.
This amazing story of nurturing strength to overcome our life challenges is inspiring. This story is told through many different perspectives and how they are drawn to Auggie and his family who love each other deeply. These characters are dealing with divorce, neglect, abandonment, death and sorrow, exclusion, poverty, and peer pressure. We all can relate to those things and how attractive and comforting a loving family can be.
Happy families are not without their troubles and challenges. They experience sorrow and anger and yell. They express disappointment and discouragement. What makes them a Happy family is that they allow each other to come back to truth: they love each other no matter what. They cry together, they are lonely together (think about that when your teen daughter is locked in her room, or ten-year old son needs time “away” from his siblings, or grandpa is sitting quietly by the window looking at nothing in particular, or the dog lays his head on your lap after a long day); they work together, they struggle together, they hurt together.
Do you have a happy family? Perhaps you think not. Seeing our families as happy is an important choice with thriving consequences.
May you thrive in nurturing happiness in your family.