It’s gone a bit quiet here. Not in real life, but in blog life. Real life has gone big and loud and carefree. Real life sits on the beach and watches the other mothers in their bikinis, wearing bodies that tell stories of child bearing years, of sun before sunscreen, and of ice cream cones on the boardwalk after dark. It catches snatches of conversation floating by on the wind and ignores the siren’s call of the laptop sitting on the dining room table of the rental house. Real life leaves the camera in its case and sees sandy kids and ocean meeting sky through brown eyes rather than a big, black lens.
The laptop and the camera will make an appearance, but not before I do. The day the ocean temperature read 69 degrees, I put down my book and I joined the kids in the surf. No one could remember the last time they saw Mom jump the waves. My husband asked if I needed coaching. He’s funny, that one. I rewarded him with a heavy eye roll and a thump on the arm. My daughter looked incredulous, and my son asked if I was embarrassed to be seen having fun. Embarrassed? No. Having fun? Yes.
I forget about the having fun. Duty tends to take fun outside and beat him up behind the house. Granted my idea of fun leans more heavily towards a quiet room and a good book, but his comment made me think. I don’t want my children’s memories of me to revolve solely around my hands in the sink and my head bent over the washing machine. I want them to remember the me that still feels young, the me that eats too much ice cream on the boardwalk, whose long hair flies up in the ocean breeze, and who jumps in the waves.
Recently, I read an article about Dr. Oz and his daily diet. This is the Dr. Oz of Oprah and ridiculously healthy eating habits fame. He listed the foods that makes up his normal daily diet, and after extolling the virtue of chia seeds he said “It’s a joyless diet.” I believe there was a “but” after that statement, however he lost me at “joyless”. I can’t bear the thought of a joyless anything, not diets or days or memories with my kids. Joy is a non-negotiable, and it doesn’t reach out and grab us through the computer screen. Joy joins us in the waves–in the diving deep. It’s found in the having fun, and the eavesdropping, and the people watching, and the one too many ice cream cones with rainbow sprinkles.
I hope you find joy today,whether it be in the waves or in the dish washing, in your bikini body or baby bearing one. Find joy, friends.