When Paul asked me to write about things that give me joy, the first to pop into my head were naturally my kids. Followed closely by Keith Richards, puffy Cheetos and Jesus, not necessarily in that order.
My day was spent waking up lazy, letting Samuel mix the pancake batter while Lilly watched cartoons. By noon the house was clean - well, clean enough if you overlook the ketchup stain on the drapes, which I've been able to do for much longer than most in my social circle. Eric, my husband, fixed the washing machine while I took the kids to the retro movie theater on our corner - one of the few remaining neighborhood theaters, and the same one I used to see matinees at with my grandma. She's gone now, but the theater is pretty much unchanged, homemade popcorn and all.
After the movie, Lilly and I went to get the car washed - it was covered in bird poop from being parked under the ancient tree in the backyard. She was so embarrassed to be seen in it that she slouched way down in her seat the whole way there afraid that, gasp, we'd be seen in the poop car by someone we knew.
Eric made fried chicken, biscuits and Spiderman macaroni and cheese for dinner. We laid out a big blanket on the living room floor and ate picnic style. We talked like southerners while we ate and during a brief silence Samuel said, "Ahhh... I just love the peace and quiet". This is not something often heard from a 4-year old so it was equal parts charming and hilarious.
After baths, I put Samuel to bed. The smell of his shampooed hair makes me smile. Aha...that's what brings me joy. Contentment. There it is. I've learned in some hard ways the meaning of enough. I've learned to love that word... it's what I aspire to. And now that Samuel is asleep, I'm sitting next to Lilly writing this while she's lost in a book. Okay, it's not a book, it's her Nintendo DS - I never said we were "The Waltons". She'll be asleep soon and I'll have a glass of wine and watch a stupid late-night movie with Eric. We are old, we are content and that's enough to bring me joy.
This is a guest post by Chris Thomas, of Minneapolis. We have only met virtually. A long-time friend, Alan, made the connection. (She works for Alan's company, Cue.) I have always enjoyed her writing, and now you have too!