Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Simple Joys

I was humbly overwhelmed by the plethora of Simple Joys I enjoyed this week. Some weeks are simply that way, an overabundance of blessings that bring infinite joy. These are the credits that need to be stored for a rainy day, when joys are hard to come by and times are crummy. Writing down my Simple Joys weekly is giving me a whole lot of credit in life’s bank; my goal is to deposit much more than I will ever need to take out. Without further ado, here is this week’s Simple Joys.

My niece. My niece turned ten this week.  I remember her birth vividly and the moment I held her for the first time. She was the first in our family and such a special little girl; well, she was young but has never been little! Long and lanky, athletic and statuesque, my niece is intelligent, artistic, creative, talented, sweet, and patient. As an only child, she relies on cousins and friends to provide familial sibling relationships, but is equally comfortable alone with a book or a sketchpad. My niece makes ten look like sixteen, but having two inordinately tall parents adds to her mature look; she towers over all of her little friends who are older or the same age! Swimmer, artist, student, friend, cousin, niece, and numerous other words cannot begin to describe the whole of my niece. She is quite simply put, wonderful.

My oldest. My oldest child, my son, had a particularly trying week. In addition to all of the demands placed on a third grader who has to work diligently to do well, this week my son had to test for his brown belt in Karate. This involved taking a test that is cumulative and tests his knowledge, techniques, physicality, focus, wherewithal, and confidence. From calisthenics to basics, Kata (choreographed fight scenarios) to partaking in a line fight, my son, eight years old, had his metal tested. I’m so proud and pleased to report that my son met all of the challenges with determination, confidence, strength, and focus splendidly. His father and I were so overwhelmed with emotion as these are particularly tough traits to teach and truly parts of a person that need to be developed from the inside out. Our son, thankfully, is maturing, learning, growing, and rising to the occasion in the appropriate times.

My middle child. My middle child, my second son, had an exciting week himself. Often taking a back seat to his older brother literally and figuratively, this little boy is a natural athlete, incredible student, and an impressive child. He, too, tested for a new belt in Karate. He is consistently the most mature in the class as well as the most coordinated and sharp when it comes to the actual Karate. He easily advanced. After the belt ceremony finished, my son was a participant in an inner-school tournament. He performed his own age-appropriate Kata in front of an auditorium full of parents, relatives, older students, and peers, and did so loudly, strongly, with gusto, and earned the first place medal for the effort! He was a shining star and was flying high on seeing his hard work pay off in spades.

My baby girl. My daughter is at an incredibly frustrating age for both of us! She is beginning to talk but her vocabulary has nowhere near caught up to her wants. She is teething and in what I fear is constant pain or discomfort. She is curious to a fault and pulls things down off every countertop courting danger at every turn. “No” is uttered from me more times than I care to count and often we both wind up in tears at some part of the day. But, having admitting all of that, I can tell you unabashedly and passionately, I love my daughter with every ounce of my being and am so blessed that she is here and a part of my family. These trying times are the ones that make parenting tough. I know over the years we’ll be battling each other over everything from clothing and makeup to boyfriends and careers. But having her in my life, savoring her hugs, kisses, and knock knock jokes (“Knock knock” she babbles. “Who’s there?” I respond. “Dada” she states – EVERY time. “Dada who?” I ask. To which she replies, also every time, with uproarious giggles!) makes my world complete. My family, the children I was meant to have, care for, love, raise, and cherish, are all here. I  am so very lucky and blessed to know that and appreciate them all in my life.

Twilight. Lest I get too overly sappy about my family, I wanted to add this final Simple Joy for the week. My friend, at my request, lent me her copy of the best-selling novel Twilight, a story about a teenage girl and the vampire with whom she falls in love! Although certainly not the most erudite of books nor the best thing I’ve ever read, it is entirely engrossing, fast-paced, and intriguing. Most importantly it is erotic and sensual without being overtly sexual. For me it captures all of the newness and insistence one feels in the beginning of a relationship. In a rush I was transported back in time to when I met my husband. I, too, could not wait to see him, be with him, talk to him, and embark on a lifetime together. The reminder made me fall in love with him all over again. So this book definitely makes the Simple Joys list for allowing me to revisit my own passionate love story.

I am finding it necessary to make a decision to end the Simple Joys blog as opposed to wondering if I have enough written. I am grateful that my cup runneth over. It is always a sincere delight for me to read your Simple Joys as well. Won’t you indulge me?


  1. Waiting a week for an answer and finding out the answer is Yes :-) YES !

  2. I'm so absolutely thrilled for you, Art! I can't wait to hear what the "Yes" was for, but I can celebrate with you in the meantime! Simple Joys indeed!

  3. (Hyland's Teething Tablets- work every time!)

    "Bye, Love You, Have a Good Day!"
    This is said multiple times as my children and husband leave the comfort of home to go off to school and work each day.

    Sometimes James (7) will add, "Adios" to which I must reply, "Cinnamon toast". Even after saying the phrase two or three times, he will come back and open the door and yell it just one more time. He is my "silly goose."

    Rebekah (10) just says it and moves on with her day... occasionally her younger brother will frustrate her off the bat in the morning and will even say "B,LY,HAGD" through stomping, clenched teeth, an eye roll and a huge sigh of irritation... which actually amuses me. Because even though she is upset, she still says it!

    Having a 13 year old boy is interesting. My responses vary from a almost inaudible grunt to just a "you too" and sometimes I will get the whole thing back to me.

    My husband's parting of ways always, always includes a hug and kiss and an additional "drive safe" from me. Even if we are scrambling around trying to get things done... the world stops long enough to get the hug and kiss in. It has been this way for 11 1/2 years. Even if we are mad at each other, we still do it.

    Chief... Bye, Love You, Have a Good Day!

  4. Just reading what you have to write is a Joy to us.