Welcome to Simple Joys, the most popular post at Chief 187 Chatter and the most uplifting blog of any week. There are times that even I find it difficult to stay positive all of the time; I’m human. Even though I had started a list for this week’s piece, my life can be stressful, difficult, and frustrating leaving me in a pickle as to how to gear up to write this anticipated post. What helps me, though, is trying to concentrate on all of the good that has occurred since last week to snap me out of the funk. So now, without further ado, is today’s Simple Joys.
End of the School Year. It’s arguably the best day of the school year – the last! My third grader came home with a report card and a pencil box (all of his workbooks, notebooks, and artwork came home earlier in the week) and… was weepy. He earned an awesome report card and was most certainly promoted to the fourth grade, but his heart was a bit heavy. This is my child who is very sensitive and felt an attachment to his teacher who worked above and beyond her contracted day to offer guidance, assistance, drills, skills, and help to provide the most opportunities for my son to grow and succeed. She was firm, challenging, yet nurturing and kind. He, in his heart, knew that not all teachers will be as wonderful. “I’m going to miss her,” he cried as he threw himself into my arms before the bus pulled away. He moped around for about an hour, but snapped out of his funk after lunch. Still, I know we were so lucky to have had this teacher, and, quite frankly, I was a bit sad, too. Fortunately, we both resumed our excitement for the glorious summer sprawled out before us! Summer is ripe for Simple Joys!
Belt Promotion. My four-year-old son earned a belt in Karate. He tested and a few days later was awarded his belt during a special ceremony where he got to perform some basic skills as well as his Kata (choreographed fight sequence). He was so wide-eyed and excited and showed no signs of being ill-at-ease as he’s been doing this for over a year now. Seeing my son shine in something he loves to do is certainly a Simple Joy!
Time Alone with One Child. With the summer schedule in place, my husband was able to take the boys out one evening without worrying about early bedtimes, so I was left to spend some quality time with my daughter, a rare occurrence for us. She reveled in having Mommy’s undivided attention and squealed with delight while we played bubbles on the back deck. I’d blow the bubbles and she would chase and stomp them! At one point, about a half hour into our game, I put the bubbles down and tried to engage her in another activity. She climbed up on a chair, then onto the table where the bubbles were located, and handed them to me petulantly! Without speaking the child got her point across loud and clear! Finally, after a few more minutes of bubbles, she tired of the game. I pushed her on her swing, gave her a fun (bubble bath) and kissed as I placed her in her crib. It was a night filled with Simple Joys!
70th Birthday Party. My mother turned seventy at the end of last month. Since she was still in Florida we were unable to celebrate properly together. I had told her that my gift was going to be a party at my home where she could invite whomever she wanted to celebrate. This delighted my mother who enjoys a good party! At first her list was rather endless, as my mother has made friends throughout her life. But, upon closer inspection she realized that with too many people present she wouldn’t be able to talk to everyone. So, she whittled the list down to 3 couples that she enjoys immensely. Three of the friends she has known for nearly forty-five years, when they were all neighbors in a new development, raising children, playing bridge, and throwing neighborhood parties. The other friends were more recent in her life but no less important! She laughed, talked, ate homemade food (no need to cater a small affair), and cavorted for hours at my home surrounded by these dear friends. It was a beautiful thing to see friendship that has endured throughout the decades; it was comfortable and well loved with no pretense or excuses. It was also awesome to see the strength of the newer friendships, equally as potent if not as aged. Seeing my mother surrounded by her friends, taking in the day, and truly enjoying every moment offered me a very sweet and powerful Simple Joy!
Bowling Party. My boys were invited to a Bowling Birthday Party. It was their first time bowling that had nothing to do with a Wii Remote! Watching them deal with the heft of the ball and launch it noisily and clunkily down the lane was a bit painful and a heck of a lot of fun! It had been so long since I’d been to a bowling alley I didn’t realize they had lanes with bumpers, presumably for novice bowlers (kids) who don’t have to suffer gutter ball after gutter ball. My four-year-old was able to produce a strike and two spares in his first game and tied an eleven-year-old for second with a score of 96! The boys enjoyed the game so much they want me to take them back so they can “get good” at playing! You betcha!! And next time Mom is going to get to play, too! Bowling for real is a Simple Joy we all would like to explore more of in the near future!
As is usually the case I find myself stopping before my list of Simple Joys is exhausted. Even in a week where my stress levels were higher and some of my relationships were tested, I was able to find my Simple Joys. Simple Joys are powerful if you open your heart and mind to them. They are there for the finding/taking; you just need to keep searching for them. Wishing you all a day and week filled with Simple Joys!
Please join me tomorrow for a whole new topic for me to wax poetic!