Joy is something that children seem to experience much more often – and much more easily – than adults. It takes a truly unusual experience to bring true joy to my heart; my children draw pure joy from dozens of everyday experiences, every day.
In the past 24 hours, here are some – only some! – of the things that brought not just happiness, but true joy to my daughter’s heart, and joyful squeals to her lips – or, occasionally, the silent joy of wide-eyed wonder.
- A cardinal came to the bird feeder.
- I made her oatmeal for breakfast.
- She fake-sneezed.
- I took her picture.
- Her brother shared his balloon with her.
- Daddy let her climb into bed with him.
- She found a beloved toy she had thought was lost.
- The waitress brought her stickers.
- She peed on the potty.
- I put the princess blanket on her bed.
- I got new glasses.
- She discovered the “erase” part of a dry-erase board.
- She found one last jellybean from Valentine’s Day.
- We made hot chocolate.
- Her brother let her play a Batman game on his Kindle Fire.
- She danced in front of a mirror.
- She put her Snow White dress on.
- I let her eat her snack in the “reindeer barn” (a little cardboard house left over from Christmas).
- She slid in her socks on the kitchen floor.
- We played hide and seek and I “couldn’t” find her.
When did I stop finding joy in such simple things? When did I become so burdened with the cares of everyday life that I forgot to rejoice in a small sweet treat, a gift from a friend, a glimpse of nature, a new discovery? When did joy become hidden from me?
This Lenten season, I will try to shed my adult cares and find joy in the simple things of life, to see through a child’s eyes the fresh joy of living itself. I will actively seek it.