Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Simple Joys

Welcome in to Simple Joys. This post explores all of the incidents that occurred within the last week to fill my days with bursts of positive energy, good vibes, and a happy heart. Simple Joys has given me a new perspective, is infectious, and is a juggernaut that will not be stopped! Without further ado, here is this week’s Simple Joys.

Date. Recently my oldest son and I went on a mother/son date. He had expressed interest in spending time alone with me so knowing the opportunities to do so are disappearing faster than a designer wedding gown at a 50% sale, I cleared my schedule. We got away at midday, ate lunch at Subway, and reveled in the slower pace I was able to enjoy without tending to the two younger children who still so desperately need me. After lunch I took my son to an indoor antiques market. A large building with several vendors’ stations revealed row after row of treasures, some precious, some common, but all new to my child. He brought his wallet stuffed with dollar bills collected from grandparents’ generosity, the Tooth Fairy’s rewards, and hard-earned chore money. He decided not to spend more than five dollars and set out to find his treasure. American Pickers on The History Channel is one of my son’s favorite television shows, so he fancied himself a Picker during this outing. Fortunately among the furniture, textiles, crystal, and pottery there were toys, comic books, and children’s items. He found himself drawn to a bag of multi-colored plastic green army men. At the end of the adventure my son purchased the item and was anxious to get home to play with the pieces with his brother! He enjoyed the time spent alone with his mom, explored a new hobby, and provided me with a memory that will live in my heart forever.

Mother’s Day Tea. My middle boy is in his last few weeks of Nursery School. It is incredible to me that this little boy is half baby and half schoolboy. In school, surrounded by his peers, I see the young man who is maturing, curious, intelligent, smart, and creative. He constantly surprises me with his depth of understanding, attention to detail, and physical prowess. The morning began with a concert with songs all about or dedicated to Mom. He sang his heart out, did all of the gestures required, and waved to me upon the conclusion of each little ditty. His wide smiled caught my eye and melted my heart. After the concert he escorted his sister and me down to his classroom, which was set up with a table set for a tea. My son pulled my chair out for me, offered me some iced tea, and proceeded to point out everything he had made especially for me in honor of Mother’s Day. There was a laminated placemat he had drawn a picture of he and I on and written that he loved me (his mom) because I was “beautiful”. He had written, in his own hand, a construction paper Mother’s Day card with a hand-colored flower on front and inside read “Happy Mother’s Day! I Love You! Love, Gregory”. He had decorated a flower pot that was presented to me with planted flowers and a picture of my son’s face inside a paper flower he had colored and stuck on a Popsicle stick. There was a homemade dessert of “dirt”; chocolate pudding with crushed Oreo cookie crumbs on top and a straw that held my son’s little cut out traced hand stapled to it to form another flower. Lastly he tied a hand colored tissue paper corsage around my wrist that was spectacular to behold! The gifts were creative, original, and proudly given to me by my enthusiastic son. His teacher deserves the credit for all of her wonderful ideas for the myriad gifts the children were able to bestow. My son, however, takes the credit for providing his mother with making the last Nursery School Mother’s Day Tea the most special and memorable one. Days like that are the ones you want to push pause on the VCR of life and stay in a little extra longer. I never understood, before I had children, how construction paper cards and tissue paper flowers could make mothers tear up and say, “those are the most prescious gifts I’ve ever received”. Now I know; and they are!

Baby girl. I’ve made no secret that my 18-month old daughter is at a very frustrating age. She is unable to communicate effectively all of her many wants and needs, but does a great job of ‘flipping out’ when even one of them is not met exactly. But, as I know this stage will not last long, I try to seek out the most sweet and endearing moments I share with her. This week, after returning from the “date” with my oldest son, my daughter was overjoyed to see me, the woman who she had possibly taken for granted always being there. She wouldn’t let me out of her site or my arms. When I took a moment to sit on the chaise lounge (a former Mother’s Day gift from my darling husband) that had been rescued from winter storage, she insisted on sitting on my lap, bent down, and kissed me over and over again on the mouth. I knew she possessed the ability to kiss, but she rarely treated anyone to this gift. But on this one afternoon, with a twinkle in her eye and a smile that enveloped her face, she kissed me time after time with no hint of stopping. I soaked up the attention, the kisses, and the unabashed love she was throwing my way. The next day, while dressing for Mother’s Day, my daughter got into my jewelry armoire. She is usually admonished but this time I allowed her free reign. She found a gold bracelet, put it on, and strutted, lady-like, about the room. I took this cue and found a baby identification bracelet out for her to wear. I was scared she may try to pull on it and break it, but she was gentle, intrigued, and thrilled to be adorned! As a jewelry lover who fondly remembers eyeing my mother’s collection, I was overwhelmed by the connection I felt with my daughter. She wore the bracelet (and a faux pearl necklace) all day without damaging it. She knew it was there but regarded it in high esteem. I knew I had found a kindred spirit!

Mother’s Day. On Mother’s Day I was delighted by the freshly mown lawn, front and back, my husband tended to the day before. In addition, I admired the newly planted gardens and hanging baskets he arranged while I was out with my oldest. Everything was immaculate and signified spring. Inside I displayed the treasures my middle boy had given me, accepted handmade and thoughtful gifts from my oldest son (a clever poem, a book of coupons for things like doing the dishes and washing the car, colored paper flowers in a paper basket, and a certificate stating I was the best mommy because “she makes breakfast, lunch, and dinner AND she let’s me read myself to sleep at night!” ), opened the store-bought cards my husband lovingly picked out and had each child sign, and enjoyed the spotlight placed on me for the day.

Luckily, in my family, the spotlight does not stop shining when Mother’s Day is over. I am valued and treasured in my family each day of the year. These tangible signs of affection are valued and appreciated, but having these children’s hugs, kisses, little hands in mine, and “Momma” on their lips are the simplest and most potent Simple Joys.


  1. This mother's day had to be the best i've had in a long time.

    Daniel my oldest got me flowers- knowing that carnations are my favorite, the bouquet had a majority of carnations in various colors. They smell so go and are just so pretty.

    My daughter- She is a girl, so she takes hints very well. ;) several weeks ago we were at a department store and i saw a jade/silver turtle necklace and admired it for quite sometime. My daughter surprised me with this little bauble wrapped very carefully (and very well) in pretty Christmas wrapping paper and a little blue bag.

    My youngest- he didn't want to buy me anything. Instead he wrote a letter to me in class & presented it too me before Mother's day. It is hard for a 2nd grader to keep things like this to himself for so long. ;) My favorite words in the letter include "I'm sorry for screaming i hate you , i don't, and mean it" & "Thank you for teaching me to talk, cral (crawl), run, I'm glad I have you for helping me at everything and more." This from the "joy boy" 7 year old!

    What more could a mom ask for for Mother's Day: flowers, jewelry & sentiments of love. :)

    Stephen paid for dinner at a new Mexican restaurant we now enjoy. ;)

  2. Hey there Candice!

    What a great post and very encouraging. You are right, enjoy the time you have because as you correctly point out - the time does fly by. I love the fact that your son found "Army men"! Of course there's the Army connection for me, but I remember those little green Army men! No, wait a minute, if I remember those Army men - and your son found them at an antique store - Does that make ME an antique? LOL!

    Anyway, great post!

    Dr. Rus

  3. Digging through the tables of treasures is a joy for me too. Not too many people want to do that with me but I go any way. I love dirt pudding. One of my favorite simple joys.

    My grandson is blossoming into fun. When I baby sit we play catch or try to through balls into large snack cans. We make up games. He loves this. Kicking the ball back and forth seems to be a big thing right now too.

    Now that I'm a grammy and not a single mom the stress of dealing with every day life has now given way to me being able to step back and enjoy my grandson as he grows and explores his way up the ladder. The simple joys really make the difference in your quality of life.

  4. At my granddaughters first 'concert' you just had to look at her to see she was scared to be on that stage. She was looking around for a familiar face. The moment she made eye contact with me, she put on a BIG smile. That was 10 years ago, but I still remember how good that made me feel. It is little things like that I will cherish for a lifetime.
    Thanks for reminding us to look for the "Simple Joys"

  5. Thank you all for posting your Simple Joys. I so enjoy reading them; they make my week spectacular!

  6. Swapping car tyres front to rear to even out the wear, not done that in ages :-)

  7. The Amazon Deal of the Day was a new Logitech 1080p webcam. I just couldn't pass it up at $59.99 marked down from $99.99!