Monday, June 13, 2011


"It makes me really sad and mad that people do stuff to animals. I'm so sad and so mad I'm . . . smad!" --Stink in Judy Moody, M.D.: The Doctor Is In! by Megan McDonald
"Smad" is our new favorite word. The kids first heard it on a Judy Moody book-on-tape during their drive to school or kung fu. They rushed upstairs, giggling hysterically at their new word, ready to see if I knew it. I didn't then. I get it now.

It is so apropos . . . of growing up, of growing older . . . of living. Bud is smad that he has to go to school when he'd rather stay at home. Sis gets smad at Bud, when he won't play what she wants. I'm smad that my foot hurts just as I got my back better. Mama is smad about that too (not at me, but for me, for her, for all of us). It even sounds like what it means.

Funny, the more I think about those feelings, the more I find they often go together. In NVC, both those feelings are said to arise in us when our needs are not met--we are sad to be let down, angry that things we wanted didn't work out. Helplessness, frustration, disappointment, lack of control. Smad.

But, what's the positive equivalent combination? Happy and grateful. Grappy? Hapful? We'll have to work on that one.

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