Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Simple Joys

Welcome to Simple Joys on Chief 187™Chatter.

My favorite part of every week is finding the Simple Joys that will appear in this weekly post. Some weeks are more difficult than others to sift through the events of the last seven days, but overall it is a simple process that unfolds easily and organically.

Challenges, setbacks, frustrations, and bad moods can befall anyone in a given week, but by staying steadfast to the notion that Simple Joys exist for each of us and are there for the experiencing, then Simple Joys can color every week.

Now, without further ado, is this week’s Simple Joys.

Heart-shaped Pizza. I insisted on taking the family to the local pizzeria for dinner on Valentine’s night because they were donating a portion of each one to the local Parent Teacher Organization (PTO).

Normally we dine at the pizzeria closer to our grocery store which is located in a different town, but we wanted to be supportive of the community and the schools.

My oldest child, a fourth-grader, has often lamented that he doesn’t have many friends. I, as his mother, internalize feelings of guilt for living far away from the center of town, choosing a house with neighbors who do not have children, and for leading a life with younger children and a career and after-school activities that disallow casual playdates often.

My son, within the first moments of sitting in the booth of the crowded restaurant, was greeted by no less than five classmates/schoolmates who were genuinely thrilled to see him, were compelled to come over to our booth and talk to him, and several who stayed, sat and joined us for a lengthy visit.

I felt like we were at Al’s/Arnold’s Drive-In in Happy Days and my son was Richie Cunningham!

It was a deeply satisfying and calming Simple Joy to see my son not only was well-liked and thought of by his peers, but how easily they interacted.

I’ve already promised myself to put more effort into hanging out at the local pizzeria!

Ye Olde Y.M.C.A. – It was the annual Blue and Gold dinner and awards banquet for my son’s Cub Scout Pack over the weekend.

The boys all worked hard to earn their WEBELOS Badge and, along with the other dens that make up their Pack, celebrated their achievements, reminisced about the year gone by, and said goodbye to the boys who earned their Arrow of Light and crossed over to become Boy Scouts as well as the Cub Master who stepped down that night.

Each year the awards banquet has a theme, this year’s was American Presidents. My son’s den was to represent George Washington. My co-den leader who is so crafty centered the boys’ stage decoration around a fallen cherry tree incorporating each boys’ picture superimposed on a cherry on the tree.

The table decorations had miniature cherry trees with the same idea, only a paper “bobblehead” George Washington featuring our son’s face was incorportated!

Lastly the boys performed a goofy yet funny musical number working in pairs to create little George Washingtons as they performed “Ye Olde Y.M.C.A.”. The crowd laughed when it was explained the “real” George Washington – a scout dressed in period-style garb - (who it was rumored slept nearly everywhere in and around our state of New Jersey) needed a place to stay and the boys offered him a room at the storied “Y.M.C.A.”.

The crowd was in stitches with the elaborate stage set, creative costumes, and young men trying to perform the choreography while working in tandem with one another!

Celebrating milestones at the Blue and Gold, performing the funny skit, and sharing precious moments with my son and the other boys who make up the den/pack are Simple Joys that will stay with me for a lifetime.

Saturday Morning Off. Every Saturday morning my husband and I take our brood for swim lessons. We find this to be of utmost importance so they can swim unaided, and, in the case of our boys, swim well and quickly for the swim team they’ll be a part of this summer.

This week we received a phone call that swim lessons were canceled.

We had Saturday morning off!

Having a totally clear morning with no appointments was a peaceful Simple Joy!

Cinnamon Rolls. I rarely buy them. I know they are packed with empty calories and do nothing good for the body nutrition-wise.

But they are ooey, gooey, sinfully good and maybe, just maybe they are good for the soul!

Eating the big, sweet, warm cinnamon buns on Saturday morning in our pajamas was a rare and satisfying Simple Joy!

“I Love You”. While still at the Blue and Gold (hour six, seriously), I received a text from my husband who had left much earlier with our younger children.

It simply said “I love you”.

After twenty-five years together, that is still the most perfect Simple Joy.

It isn’t necessary to tell about the colds the family has had this last week, the tantrums my children may or may not have had, or the annoyance that feel like setbacks because the Simple Joys washed over me and colored my memories for the better.

Simple Joys exist for all if people are willing to open their hearts and minds to finding and recognizing them.

I write my Simple Joys down to savor them for a lifetime and force myself to acknowledge the good far outweighs the bad in my life.

Whether you write yours down weekly or merely think about them, incorporating Simple Joys in your life and actively reflecting on them makes the everyday so much more tolerable.

Wishing you boatloads of Simple Joys daily!

Please join me tomorrow as I wax poetic on yet another topic on Chief 187™Chatter.

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