Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Joyful Chaos

December 27 – Ordinary Joy Our most profound joy is often experienced during ordinary moments. What was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year? (Author: Brené Brown) 

Today my sister and I took the kids on the train for a day spent exploring Center City Philadelphia.

Just so you have an accurate picture of what that means, today's trip included two adults, three surly teen-age boys who were "bored", two pre-teens who had money burning a hole in their pocket and four elementary-aged kids who were hungry, tired, thirsty, cold, had sore feet and were hungry again. 

All 9 kids at Love Park in Philly
It was frustrating and annoying and when I wasn't threatening to kill one of the kids absolutely wonderful.

And a superb lesson in enjoying the ordinary moments of life.

Stop. Breathe. Enjoy.

Funny how those same children who five minutes ago were being so obnoxious I seriously wondered if they came from my womb, can in an instant transform themselves and remind me to just stop, breathe and be present.

Captivated by the Macy's
Christmas light display
Their complaints of "he's squishing me" and my exhaustion disappear as I watch their faces become awestruck by the same light display I watched as a child so many years ago. Back then Macy's was Wannamakers Department Store and it was my mom wondering if I was really her child. And today I sat in that same spot and watched my kids, yes even the surly teen boys, become mesmerized by bright lights set to music.

Stop. Breathe. Enjoy.

I'm sure to people passing by I seemed totally OCD as I kept doing a head count. Do we have 9? Who are we missing now? (If it was one of the surly teen boys missing I didn't get concerned. They'd show up when they got hungry - again.) 

Maggie (child 9 on this trip)
tasting her first cannoli
Yet everyone gravitated together when I pulled out the freshly made cannolis from Philadelphia's famous Termini Brother's Bakery.

Stop. Breathe. Enjoy.

It was a long, chaotic day. We walked a lot of city blocks, spent a lot of money and I hope made some great memories. Tonight as I came upstairs to put some laundry away and clean up, I was struck again by an ordinary moment that made my heart swell with joy.

Sweet dreams
Four of my six children all crawled into bed together, sound asleep. 

Stop. Breathe. Enjoy.

1 comment: