Monday, September 16, 2013

Finding joy in life's simplicity

So, I guess I'm coming back with another semi-serious blog. Maybe a little boring for some, but I've been thinking about things a bit. Anyways, what inspired this blog was this weekend. I had an amazing weekend. What did I do exactly that made my weekend amazing?

Nothing.

Nothing special, that is.

Graham came to visit, like he does most weekends. I baked America's Test Kitchen coffee cake muffins (which were amazing, by the way.. so amazing that Carter asked for more than one) for breakfast, we ran errands for a few hours (Target, Costco, and Winco), and headed back home for Carter's nap. We chilled at home for a few hours, attended a kids' consignment sale, and took Carter to the park. On Sunday, we went to church, watched a movie, and had an amazing dinner (if you have to know, Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff with buttered noodles, and peach cobbler for dessert). Although none of these activities sound particularly exciting, I had the cheesiest smile on my face Sunday night. I felt at peace with the world. But, the thing I couldn't figure out was why was I so happy?

I finally put my finger on it this morning as Graham chased Carter around the house, trying to wrangle him into his clothes. This was life. Normal life. And I've been missing it dearly.

It's been so strange for the past 5 months, being alone with Carter. I've been trying to keep him busy, help him grow and learn, and trying to help him understand why his daddy can't be home all the time. I've been working out a lot outside of the home, which was not present in my previous life. So, I've basically been living in this dream-like state for the past 5 months, kind of wishing and hoping that this really wasn't the way things had to be. I've missed my old life.. having someone to come home to, someone else to help out, someone to take care of, someone to take care of me, and of course, having our whole family together. And this weekend filled that void.

When Carter was a baby, our "going out" nights included trips to Target and/or Costco. Those were the highlights of our week. Now that Carter's older and, sigh, wants to push the cart in every store we go, I avoid going to these stores with Carter alone. So, it's nice to have someone as backup to control the toddler beast in stores. I just really enjoyed doing all of the things that were present in my previously normal life.

I feel like I am finally learning how to appreciate the things I have. This whole situation has put things into perspective for me.. about what is truly important in my life.. family. And I need to enjoy it while I have it.

Carter is slowly teaching me this as well. Children live in a much more simple world. A simple frog, siren of an ambulance, wheel on a truck, or cloud in the sky can absolutely enrapture my child. We went on vacation to San Diego, and although we had an amazing time, you know what Carer's favorite things were? His cousins, running and jumping around, playing in the sand, and pushing his umbrella stroller everywhere. Did we need to go to the zoo or Legoland for entertainment? No, he was perfectly happy with running around, especially with his cousins. The way Carter enjoys the simple things in life has reminded me to stop what I'm doing and enjoy the moment.

Friday night, after we got back from swimming at the Y, my workout class afterwards, and a quick trip to the grocery store, I was exhausted. I just wanted to eat my dinner and veg out on the couch while Carter played with blocks. But no, since he's an only child, he sometimes refuses to play on his own. He wanted to play cars with me, and he wanted to play with them on my chair.. which meant I had to get out of my chair. I begrudgingly got out of my chair and let Carter play cars, alone, on my chair while I sat on the couch. I didn't feel guilty at the time, but having Carter ask to sleep with me put me in my place. Later that night as Carter was sleeping, I kissed his sleeping angel face and promised him that I would try harder to enjoy the little things in life, including playing cars even when I'm too tired to stand.

And so, that's exactly what I did this weekend. Do I still have a pile of clean laundry waiting to be put away? Yes. Are my counters clean? No. Did I play with my son and let him know that he is worth my time? Yes, and that's what counts.

1 comment:

karen said...

Sherri, this post brought me to tears. I think we are all guilty at one time or another of lacking appreciation for the little things in life, but having a toddler brings a whole new perspective. thank you for reminding me to live in the moment and appreciate my blessings more instead of sometimes wishing the days would go by quicker so that I didn't have to be so exhausted by a toddler all the time. I know I will be so sad when these days of toddler-ness are gone.
I am continually impressed by your strength and courage this past year with all you have been going through. know that I think about you guys often.
love, Karen

This is the home building post I DIDN'T want to write..

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