Good Bones Maggie Smith

Good Bones

In Family by Punita Rice

In the post about why I think it’s important to be happy as a mom, I wrote a little about this idea of choosing happiness in the face of negativity, and especially in the context of a messy world.

As I mentioned in the original post, when I talk about choosing to be a happy mom…

“I don’t mean a mom who ignores everything bad, and/or buries her head in the sand about the evils of the world… Instead, I mean a mom who tries to focus on the positive, and chooses to be happy (again, to the degree that it’s possible).”

– From the post Why Be a Happy Mom

Instead, when we think about choosing to be a happy mom, I mean that even though life is full of crap sometimes, it’s also often full of things to be grateful for.

Choosing happiness doesn’t mean burying our heads in the sand and ignoring the crap. It means trying to focus on the good stuff, and/or at least the potential for the good.


The poem Good Bones by Maggie Smith explains it better than any language I can conjure up to explain this mentality:

Good Bones Maggie Smith
Good Bones
Maggie Smith

Life is short, though I keep this from my children.
Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine
in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,
a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways
I’ll keep from my children. The world is at least
fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative
estimate, though I keep this from my children.
For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.
For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,
sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world
is at least half terrible, and for every kind
stranger, there is one who would break you,
though I keep this from my children. I am trying
to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,
walking you through a real shithole, chirps on
about good bones: This place could be beautiful,
right? You could make this place beautiful.

(Above: the poem Good Bones by Maggie Smith)


Psst — make sure you join the Happy Mom Guide Community. It’s a Facebook Group for moms to exchange words of wisdom, inspiration, gratitude, support, and joy. Join us!

About the Author
Punita Rice

Punita Rice

Punita C. Rice, Ed.D is a mother, educator, writer, and founder of ISAASE. She is the author of Toddler Weaning: Deciding to Gradually Wean your Toddler & Making it Happen, and the forthcoming South Asian American Experiences in Schools: Brown Voices from the Classroom, and blogs about motherhood and being intentional about being a happy mom at Happy Mom Guide. Her education work centers around multicultural education and equity, and South Asian American experiences in school. You can read more about Punita and her work here.

Read more from this author