The Mitton crew has just returned home from a lovely vacation in our summer dwelling. It truly was lovely. Except, that about two days in, I got sunburnt. It was my own fault, really, I did not re-apply the sunblock and could feel the crispy-ness attacking my legs… but was simply too lazy to head back in to shore from the rubber dingy I was lounging in. Consequence received, I spent the next few days slightly pinked and diligently re-applying the “after sun” aloe vera gel and searching for home remedies for sunburn. Then the youngest got a sliver in her foot after dancing around barefoot on the dock. Why is a sliver always the biggest disaster to a small child? Breathe. Dig out the blessed thing, slap a Band-Aide there, and move on. Sheesh. I soon discovered that it’s the little things in life that make up your days. Much to the delight of that same little girl, we also fed pistachios to a cheeky little black squirrel who was just brave enough to come near. We watched the sun go down over the lake and marvelled at the orange and pink glows that silhouetted the trees beyond us. We giggled under the covers as we read our book late into the night. None of these things were super adventurous. We didn’t save the world or climb a mountain. There were no great heros. None of these things were utter disasters, either. There were no trips to the hospital or bank loans needed. And yet, as I seek to be more grateful, I am again reminded that often it’s the little things that matter. You can consider this post my gratitude journal of sorts. A documentation of things that simply remind me of why I should be happy.
As time goes on and my hair gets a few more streaks of grey in it, I can’t help but stop and remember the days when the kids were babes and we rejoiced at their first steps, and encouraged them as they splashed and played in the sand at the beach. The greatest joys were when the sandcastle moat collapsed and you had to quickly breach the leaks before the whole kingdom was washed away in the floods. Slivers were a big deal then too. But so was jumping off the dock, and pushing the limits was getting just a bit closer to putting their whole face under the water! Now they strut about with their friends like proud peacocks, hoping mom and dad don’t totally embarrass them by acknowledging their presence. Oh — the horror — you have parents!
I am delighted to see you grow and come into your own as you begin to lead. To begin to take more chances and go off on your own. To not only put your face underwater, but jump wholeheartedly forward… willing to sink or swim. I remember hearing a preacher say once that when you are a new mom, you should be thankful for every Cheerio you pick up off the floor — revel in the moment that you are in right now. To be honest, if you are that new mom… you have no desire to be thankful for those blasted bits of cereal… I know, I been there, sister… but now that some time has passed, I can tell you…yup…it’s true… you are thankful for the Cheerios. Psychology tells us that there are benefits to gratitude, to counting our blessings and to recognizing that seeking joy makes us healthier. (Just so you know: it’s not psychology… it’s a God thing…)
Our lives are so full of little things. The everyday blessings and hurts of this journey we call life. The slivers and the sunsets. I am trying to enjoy the learning process — are you? Are you taking time to revel in the moment that you are in right now? To not complain about your aches and pains, your lack of wifi, your bank balance or what the weather is doing? It’s hard. I get it. I have those days too… when I am tired and sad and everything seems to go kaput. But we are here for a only a brief moment, a mere blip in the eternity of time. So pull out that splinter, slap a Band-Aide on there, eat the Cheerio off the floor, and go jump in the lake!
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