Sunday, July 4, 2010

Recognizing Joy

Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves
 to recognize how good things really are.                        
    - Marianne Williamson

Today, I had the joy of being with my children.  Of course I did, you might be thinking.  I'm always with my children.  And, you would be correct.  I am always, almost always, with my children.  But sometimes, it's not a joy. 

I know.   It's a shocker but it's true.  Sometimes my children are not a joy.  Sometimes they are a serious pain and must be tolerated simply because they are children and, most importantly, they are mine.

Today, however, it was a joy to be with my children. 

At the request of H11, I got up early and made chocolate chip coffee cake.  I figured, with the day I had planned, I'd better be sure everyone was happily fed before we left the house.  My strategy worked.  All four children rose happily and quickly to enjoy one of their favorite breakfast treats.   After devouring the coffee cake, we enjoyed a local production of Twelfth Night.  It was a two person show, not counting a few (four) puppets.  We were all very pleased with the performances and enjoyed the show immensely.  I've found that my children really like Shakespeare.  I'm constantly underestimating my children but I'm not the only one.

In fact, when we stopped for lunch later in the day, our server looked very much like one of the actors in Twelfth Night. M5 commented on the resemblance and our server asked which play we'd been to see.  The children told her and the server told M5 that she'd performed in Romeo and Juliet but never in Twelfth Night.  The server then bent down to tell M5, in a sort of babyish, somewhat condescending tone,  that Romeo and Juliet and Twelfth Night had been written by the same man.  "Shakespeare?"  M5 responded.  The server looked surprised at M5's knowledge.  Really though, if a 5 year old is bright enough to enjoy a play by Shakespeare why wouldn't she be bright enough to know the name of the man who wrote the play?

After the play and lunch, we did our grocery shopping and then hung out at the house for the rest of the day.  S8 is leaving for camp tomorrow so we got his bags almost packed.  M5 is excited to have her pink room back.  K13 is excited for M5 to be gone from her green room so we spent some time moving clothes, books, furniture and Barbies.  Lots of Barbies.  Everyone even took pity on me and participated in a 15 minute pick-up which left the entire house, except S8's room, neat.

Even bath time was pain free.  And bed time, relatively so.  If you don't count a very sharp meeting of nose with forehead.  No one was permanently injured but tears followed.  I cried because my nose hurt so much and M5 cried because she'd hurt me.  I am fairly certain there will be bruising.  M5 and S8 even got to enjoy neighborhood fireworks out their window.  They were especially spectacular with all the lights out and experienced after M5 and S8 really should have been in bed.  How can you refuse to let children watch fireworks on the 4th of July weekend though?  And in M5's words, "They are gorgeous!"

My feeling exactly, about the fireworks, and about the four amazing children with whom I have the privilege, the joy, to share each day.

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