Moments that separate joy from mundane are fleeting. You miss them if you aren’t paying attention. You miss the opportunity to spin them in your favor. The smiles on the faces in the photo below?
That is joy spinning.
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Spring Break arrived on pink-lacquered tippy toes. In other words, I never saw it coming.
Every opportunity to recognize the signs lolly-gagged around me for weeks.
Driving along the Mississippi Gulf Coast beaches every single morning, I noticed the jet ski huts reopen along the beach. Candy-striped umbrellas sprouted in earnest along the shore as I rubbed the sleep from my eyes during school drop-off. The neon beach shops rolled back their shutters and rolled out their inflatable wares.
At most, I may have thought, “Huh.” At most, I may have thought, “Huh. Those tourists are determined because this is not what I would call a warm 10am.” What I did not think was, “Huh. Spring Break must be coming. Wonder what my own kids would like to do…”
The sour punch is that my attention is consistently divided in so many directions that I utterly live for mini-vacations. I have tunnel-vision for long weekends and eye contact with the kids. Stay-cations totally count. I loathe allowing a single long weekend escape our greedy “Let’s do something fun!” grasp. I hoard memories and days off school beg for memory-making.
So this sneaky Spring Break just can not stand.
It took less than 12 hours for us to come up with a plan. I won’t make you jealous with its awesome, but it involves being a tourist along our own Gulf Coast and we couldn’t wait to get packed and get started.
Unfortunately, I still had to work. I couldn’t even gas up the car before I finished a minimum of eight hours of work that strapped me to my desktop. In our house. Not a beach umbrella in sight. Eight hours meant losing the first whole day of Spring Break. I could feel my heart breaking a little, such is the extent of my joy-greed.
But wait. Inside our refrigerator was one surprise.
I’m not a baker but I firmly believe in the magic of cookie jars. By luck (and some half-focused awareness of writing a post sort of along these lines… eventually soon-ish), we had some wicked cookies in our cookie jar and COOL WHIP Whipped Topping in the fridge.
We could have made an amazing recipe that involved stacking things. We could have made a dazzling concoction that included elegant or whimsical glassware. We could have made (oh my goodness!) COOL WHIP push-pops!
But no. I grabbed two colorful $1 plastic bowls and filled them up with dollops of childhood, snuck them into the freezer for 20 minutes, and then topped it off with a move to wow the foodies: angled a cookie right in the middle. Kids! It’s COOL WHIP scooping time!
Dear COOL WHIP, I could have handed my kids a couple of cookies and begged them off for a few minutes while I finished my work. Instead, because you were in our refrigerator, I took less than three minutes to turn a treat into a moment to keep.
What you add makes it. And we made it a memory. Thank you.
(the slideshow below is more for me than anyone, but I hope you get a kick out of their smiles and remember what it took to make them)
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(Written from a hotel room on the Gulf Coast, all three kids completely wiped out after a long day on the beach.)
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A big thanks to COOL WHIP Whipped Topping for sponsoring this campaign. Sponsored posts are purely editorial content and are not advertiser produced. Click here to see more of the discussion. What you add makes it. #coolwhipmoms