FROM ANGIE HOOPER: I saw a winter wonderland outside of my window. Six-inches of pristine white snow--pristine, that is, until the gleeful Baby Princess put on her boots and threw herself down to make snow angels. Eric attempted heroically to ride his bicycle through it. They haven’t learned yet to be annoyed by snow and so they reveled in it. Hoopdaddy and I, unlearning as fast as we could, joined them in their games.
My husband Hoopdaddy retrieved the newspaper from the snow. The front-page headline of the local newspaper (above the fold), rather than extolling the wonder and beauty of a “white Christmas”, blazed this headline: “3 DEAD IN CHRISTMAS EVE BLIZZARD”. Was it true that there was a car crash? Yes. Was it the whole story of December 25, 2009? No. There were hundreds who made it home safely that night, others who sledded down the hill at Harweldon Mansion, others who threw snowballs and laughed and celebrated. We might assume that the choice of headline, Hoopdaddy pointed out to Number One Son, was the result of a belief of the editorial staff of the Tulsa World that tragedy would be more interesting to the readers than beauty. I suppose that the editorial staff could have been right. It wasn’t more interesting to the Hoopers.
Hoopdaddy and Number One Son are signed up for The Happiness Option program in 2010. Number One is 16 years old now, and so old enough to attend with his dad. Number One has preparation to do, though. Number One’s homework for the winter school break: read Happiness is a Choice and discuss with his dad. The timing of the headline, therefore, couldn’t have been more perfect. Number One had a great time throwing snowballs outside with his younger siblings, and then had a chance to see an example of how beliefs affect how we see the “facts”, such as choosing the most important story of Christmas, 2009.