Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Simple Joys

Welcome to Simple Joys on Chief 187™Chatter.

Sometimes life just flows easily. Routines are set, no surprises rock the boat, and life just is. Some people call that “boring” or “mundane”. I think it is often the closest to Heaven we can get.

But even with “normalcy”, whatever that is really, there is always room for Simple Joys. A message from a friend on Facebook, a belly laugh from a child, a delicious new food, or spending time doing exactly what you want to do can all be examples of Simple Joys.

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

Pink Gum – Nothing satisfies my daughter’s addiction to sugar like pink Tic Tacs. She calls them “pink gum” because I keep them in the same place I keep my sugar-free mint gum I love to chew. I dole out a certain amount – anywhere from 2-4 – for my daughter to enjoy. She absolutely loves them and it keeps her from asking for lollipops or other forms of candy.

Seeing my daughter relish each Tic Tac and hearing her ask for the confection by the wrong cute name are Simple Joys I am treated to daily!

Eleven-year-old – At a time when most children are already showing extreme independence, my son is straddling the line between childhood and teendom. He is more than capable of being on his own, handling young adult situations, and rising to the occasion. But he still loves his place in the family, seeks out his dad and me for advice, and fears the unknown – drugs, alcohol, even falling in love – that his teen years will most likely expose him.

I make sure we talk often and keep the lines of open communication open. He feels much more secure knowing he has boundaries and perimeters than if I just left him to his own devices. But I’m not sheltering the boy. He is going to have to find his own path in this world and I can only hope he continues to use his dad and me for a moral compass, a reference, and a source of safety.

I wouldn’t want to go back to being 11, but I’m so fiercely proud of the young man my son is becoming and the endless source of Simple Joys he is.

Seven-year-old – I can’t think of anything better than being seven. My seven-year-old son loves school, completes his homework in no time at all, aces his tests, and gets great reports. He also is over-the-moon excited for Halloween, especially since his dad and I found and purchased the Iron Man costume he’s coveted all season. And, he’s super focused on making his list for Santa Claus, spelling words correctly and using his best penmanship.

He is a very happy child who spoils me with Simple Joys every single day.

Pretty Hair – Last week my daughter had a head cold that resulted in her waking up in the middle of the night. As I soothed her and settled her back into her bed I began to lower my head to kiss her. As I came closer she looked at me with big loving eyes and said, “Mommy, you have pretty hair.”

I thanked my little girl, told her in earnest that she has pretty hair, too, kissed her, and put her to bed.

As any woman can attest, I never feel my hair is pretty enough. It’s curly when I want it straight, too straight when I want it curly, in need of a haircut, dye job, combing, etc. But because of the pure love and honesty that unpromptedly flowed from my four-year-old daughter’s mouth, I finally feel that my hair is pretty.

Having my daughter erase a lifetime of self-doubt with one sweet sentence is a Simple Joy I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Brownie Brittle – For me, the best part of the brownie is the end piece with its crispy edges. At the grocery store last week I found my latest addiction – Brownie Brittle. As the name suggests it’s pieces of wafer thin brownies that are crispy, sweet, and… perfect! The store I shop carries four flavors: chocolate chip, salted caramel, toffee crunch, and mint chip. I bought all of them and have only tried the chocolate chip which is phenomenal!

Finding the perfect sweet treat after years of searching is a delightful Simple Joy!

Just getting through a day can be a Simple Joy. So can being happy with a “normal” day, week, or life. Extraordinary is not what Simple Joys are all about, it’s about letting in the good and appreciating it – no matter how large or small – in the moment and knowing that is enough.

These are my personal Simple Joys. My wish is for you to find and recognize your own whether you write them down, talk about them, or merely think about them.

Wishing you all a week filled with Simple Joys.

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