Working the door at our sold-out John Gottman lecture tonight: tough duty! Not just because it was freakin' freezin' out there. I had to turn a few dozen people away - people with sad, sad eyes; people who drove here from Upper Lithuania just for this show; people with nutty little kids who need them some Rock Star John learning. People who did not have tickets. <sigh>
RSJ was speaking about "emotional intelligence" - the holy grail of happiness and, it turns out, IQ-building in babies and little kids. Five minutes in I remembered why I volunteer to work his lectures. It is so intensely...touching...to see all these parents, these grandparents, these pregnant ladies and gay couples and single men - this rich mix of humanity, all sitting in pews, leaning forward; leaning into any wisdom they can glean because they care so very deeply about some little kid somewhere. Care so much they're hanging on RSJ's every word. I just think that's beautiful.
Lucky, too, that Gottman is a brilliant speaker. To say that the audience was rapt is an understatement. I even saw one or two crying. I've heard this man speak probably ten times over the years, so I've heard many of his anecdotes before, am familiar with some of his wisdom. But it is mighty fine wisdom, and it makes you think, and sometimes you get a glimpse of a little chunk of your own craziness that maybe you could just let go. For the sake of a child, or a marriage, maybe.
So, raising an emotionally intelligent child: not as hard as you might think. As Gottman said tonight, you probably already have all the skills you need -- and use them all the time - just not always on the right people.
Oh - and people! Do not make me turn you away when Gottman comes back in May. It is cold and sad at the curb on Gottman nights. Cold and sad - but never lonely.