It was a beautiful, unseasonably perfect day at the park. Some mama friends and I met up and the kids played hardily for three hours solid, riding bikes, swinging, throwing rocks in the creek – all kinds of good old fashioned fun.
As lunch/nap time was approaching, the band of mamas began to disperse. We happened to be the first crew to leave because Man Cub was exhausted.
Ellery (the Child Formerly Known as Pickle Pants) fell utterly and completely apart as I shifted the minivan into reverse. Why do we have go? All of our friends are still there! I didn’t get to play long at all! We never get to be the last ones to leave.
There was all kinds of huffing and puffing too. My hackles went up. I struggle to find patience and gentleness in these situations. But I dug down deep and calmly said, “Babe, take those booger glasses off and toss them in the back please.” Ellery was totally flummoxed at my bizarre request.
“If you have booger glasses on,” I continued, “all you can see is the negative. It’s so hard to see the blessings when you’re wearing booger glasses. Do you have another pair of glasses you could wear? Maybe some…*thinking of her favorite sweet treat* marshmallow glasses?”
She giggled and that grumpy scowl disappeared and those balled up fists relaxed. Then she asked what marshmallow glasses were.
“When you’re wearing marshmallow glasses, you can see everything that’s good about the day. Do you have a pair? You do?! Great, let’s put them on and then tell me all the blessings you’ve experienced today so we can be thankful for them.”
We talked about the good night’s rest. Waffles for breakfast. Meeting Shelbie, Jasper, Isaiah, Gibson, and Sullivan at the park. Perfect weather. A mommy who loves her and can push her in the swing. Her big girl bike. A nice clean park to play at. Clean cold water to drink.
Then I pointed out that we needed to leave the park because there were more blessings waiting for us at home, like a nice lunch together and then nap time in our comfy cozy beds. She understood and was okay with leaving the park. She even pointed out that if we stayed at the park all day, it wouldn’t be nearly as special to us.
I’m a lecturer. I get it honestly from my mama. Once, in the middle of a long speech about our bad behavior, my brother asked if we could just get spankings and be done. I don’t remember the exact ramifications of his request, but I would venture to guess we received both spankings, and the full lecture.
But so often in the middle of my soap box address, I realize how unworthy I am to be delivering such a speech. That’s right, I have my own pair of booger glasses. Sometimes, when Half Pint wakes up way too early and I haven’t had a chance to drink coffee, I slip them on. Or when I need to run ten errands with three kids in tow and it’s raining cats and dogs. Or when Walmart is jam packed and there are only two checkout lanes open (I mean, seriously?). Or when I get news that a loved one is very sick. Or or or or…
Happiness is a choice. Somedays, I consciously choose to wear my
marshmallow chocolate mocha ganache glasses, and oh what a difference it makes! Mamas, I don’t know if you realize it, but you are the heart and soul of your family. They all look to you for guidance and support. If you’re in a foul mood, ain’t nobody happy! On the other hand, if your mood is bright and cheerful, if your outlook is sunny and optimistic, they will likely follow suit. Be helium. Don’t be lead.
This life is full of bad news, disappointments, sadness, frustration, pain, and annoyance. It’s there. And I promise you, if you look for it, you will find it. This life is also bursting with new beginnings, second chances, exciting adventures, happy endings, laughter, and joy. It’s there. And I promise you, if you look for it, you will find it.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” – Philippians 4:8