turning toward joy

goals

I have this posted near my bathroom mirror. I stare at it every morning. In 2015, I’m focusing on the things that make me happier, that help me live better, the small choices that make the difference.

Staring at it every morning means these words knock around in my head.

At 7:15 last night, after work and daycare pickup and dinner, I had a kitchen full of dishes, bottles to wash, lunch containers to unpack. It was 15 minutes before we had to start Evelyn’s bedtime routine. She slid up next to my leg. “Will you play hide and seek with me now?”
I looked at the kitchen counters. Felt the weight of all the Have To Dos.

Choose joy.

“Yes, let’s play.”

“Ok! Yay! I want to hide first!” Her face lit up, she bounced up and down. (What would that face have looked like if I said no? If I turned toward the chores and away from her?)

I covered my eyes and started counting. She ran off.

Doors opening and closing. Giggles from the coat closet. (Already,I feel lighter and better. The Have To Dos fade away.)

“Ready or not, here I come!”

Stiffled giggles, rustling around.
“Hmmm, where’s Evy? Is she under the couch? Nooo….. Is she behind the chair? Nooo…”
I hunted around the house.
“Is she in the drawer? Nooo….”
The closet door pops open. A little hand darts out and pulls it shut. More giggles.

“Is she on the ceiling? Noooo… Is she in the CLOSET? YES! There she is!!”

She gasps and giggles, pops out and dances around the hallway. “I was there! You didn’t know it but I was in the closet!” Her feet barely touch the floor, the excitement bursts out of her. “Your turn to hide, Mommy! I’ll count to 22.”
I tiptoe down the hall while she lays on the couch, counting, skipping a number here and there. I scan my usual hiding places and end up standing in the bathtub, the shower curtain pulled closed.
“Ready or not, here I come!!!!”  Patrick holds the baby while they search the house for me.
“Is mommy under my bed? Nooo….”

They look everywhere. “Where haven’t we looked?” Patrick asks her.
“The guest room? No mommy there. The bathroom? I don’t see….” She pulls back the curtain and squeals with glee.
“Ahhhh! I found you! There you are! You’re in the shower?? I found you, Mommy!”

I am laughing so hard that I “have tears,” as she says. A belly laugh. I pick her up and we all laugh together. The baby joins in, drooly baby belly laughs.

Choose joy.

I did and I will do it again. The dishes got done. Instead of seeing a stressed out Mommy and hearing about all those things I “have to do” and all the reasons I can’t play, we laughed together. I turned toward the joy and had the best 15 minutes of my day.

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Filed under evelyn, family, life

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