Gathering research for Simple Joys is a Simple Joy in itself! Every day I get to keep my receptors on seeking out the fun, the sweet, the tender, and the special that occurs. I write them down, file them in memory, and store them up for when I get to write this, my favorite post of the week. My life is truly blessed to include so many Simple Joys. As I’ve written many times, once I opened my eyes and heart to the Simple Joys around, it became easier to identify and embrace them. Now they surround me and I am rich with them! I urge you to tune in to the Simple Joys that are all around you. Now, without further ado, is this week’s Simple Joys.
Safety Town Graduation. My four-year-old son took part in a program offered by our public school district called Safety Town. The gymnasium at the school that contains his Kindergarten transformed into a miniature town complete with wooden buildings, construction paper roads, and traffic signs. The children brought helmets to school and got to ride the streets of Safety Town on tricycles. They were taught about the jobs of the local police and fire departments, saw an ambulance; learned about stranger danger, and many other important safety topics. They also rode a school bus, visited the school library, and learned the geography of their new school. It is a lovely program that culminated in a cute “graduation” ceremony and a reception with food that followed. Seeing my son on stage, singing the songs about safety he learned enthusiastically, and sitting among his classmates brought an overwhelming feeling of how quickly he is growing. The day of his graduation was hot as our town was in the grips of an oppressive heat wave. We all dressed up for the occasion, but with no air conditioning we were sweating by 9:30am in the gym. But, to my surprise and pleasure, my three children were all well behaved, delighted in the table filled with sugary delights including “Mommy’s Now-Famous Dark Chocolate Brownies”, and made the whole rite of passage an utter Simple Joy.
Water Pistols. Once released from the graduation for Safety Town, the children and I drove home, stripped our fancy clothes, and threw on our bathing suits that live in the kitchen during the summer. We all converged in the kiddie pool that I’ve written about previously. The air was thick with humidity, the sun beating down, relentless in its intensity, was unyielding. The pool, recently filled with water from our well, cold from the deep earth from which it sprang, was refreshing, clear, and inviting. We tried to sit in the pool, but it was crowded and too cold! So, we all picked up a water pistol, filled them from the pool, and began the most fun water gun fight I’d ever been a part! We shot, screamed from the coldness, and laughed until our sides hurt. Playing like a child, laughing at the heat wave instead of complaining and hiding from it, and enjoying the pureness of fun from playing with my children delivered the most freeing Simple Joy.
Date Night. My husband and I used to try and date one another once a month. We’d get a sitter, plan a fun night, and enjoy each other’s company sans children. Recently, due to our daughter’s young age and our lack of funds due to the sluggish economy, we’d gotten away from date nights. With a renewed determination, several sitters we want to try, and a desire to speak to one another without three other little people vying for our attention, we escaped for a date night. The night wound up being a comedy of errors, but we still had a fantastic time just being “us”. Coming home and being Mom and Dad is still the most rewarding feeling, but going on a date night was a Simple Joy we plan to revisit much more often!
Rain. The heat wave had a tight hold on the area in which I live. Temperatures soared into the upper nineties and broke 100 degrees several times. I’m lucky to be able to escape to my parents’ lake house and swim. On the last day of the heat wave my entire family were all in the water when the skies opened up and rain fell, hard. Darkened skies led to a steady, relentless and cool rain falling. With no lightning or thunder we were comfortable waiting the storm out in the water. Being caught in a rainstorm, while immersed in the lake, was an unexpected Simple Joy.
Bridge. I love the game of Bridge. Yes, Bridge. The game that most know because a grandmother played or it was mentioned in an old book or television show but no one really plays themselves; I play. I’ve been playing since I was fourteen and I’m good at it. I’m not great because not many people I know play and, having young children, I don’t get a lot of opportunity to play, but I do well. My husband plays, too. We love it. Mostly we play with my parents now. We wait for my children to go to bed or, as in the most recent case; we put on a video so we could play. If you play or know someone who does, contact me! I’d love to resurrect this game. Any time I get to play Bridge is a Simple Joy.
Simple Joys are abundant in my life, but I believe they are because I open myself up to their existence. My wish for all of you is the peace to quietly observe the Simple Joys in your life. They exist. And once you do, notice how abundant yours are, too!
Please join me tomorrow, as I wax poetic about another original topic tomorrow on Chief 187 Chatter.