My son has taught me an uncountable number of things in his short time here with us, the least of which is to find joy in the tiniest, most simple things. Last week he knocked over a full glass of water. It was sitting on our ottoman in the living room, where it shouldn’t have been in the first place. I know better. A clear acrylic tray that lives on the ottoman due to our pathetic and lazy habit of dining on the couch caught the bulk of the water, thank goodness. Instead of getting upset or leaping up off the floor (which would involve untangling my legs, and I don’t move very fast pre-6am), I picked up the tray and transferred to the kitchen floor. I pushed up the baby’s sleeves and let him have at it. My guess was right. It that tiny splash of water equaled absolute utter delight. It made a gigantic, 3-towels-needed mess, but messes are the least of my worries these days. In fact, f it doesn’t hurt him and it keeps him occupied for more than 30 seconds, I welcome a mess wholeheartedly. When he’d finished splashing all the water out of the tray on to the floor, he took great joy in stomping around the kitchen leaving tiny footy-pajama footprints in his wake. Luckily I have a son who loves to clean (I have no idea where he got that gene) and he even attempted to help me reign in the disaster area. Too bad he prefers vacuuming to mopping, not exactly the most efficient water clean-up method.
I thought of the other pure delights that light up my sons face: the sound of an airplane flying over head; putting a lid on a leftover fruit cocktail cup; reading the same bedtime story over and over and over again. There’s no reason I can’t take a page out of my son’s book and find the joy in the hidden spaces of our chaotic life. The majority of this past week was one of solo parenting. I easily could have drummed up a long list of excuses as to why I failed, yet again, my self-imposed take-back-my-life challenge. But I didn’t. Instead I picked up a book from the adult shelves when we visited the library. I went to bed 10 minutes earlier and read said book- the one with more than 5 words, no pictures, and pages that weren’t made of cardboard.
Instead of coming home to a crazed lunatic, my husband came home to happy, mostly-refreshed wife. Although that could have had something to do with my nightly glass of wine (or two) and the beautiful spring weather we’re finally experiencing.