The other night, I was driving home from work. It had been a long, hard day and I was tired and not in the greatest mood. As it often happens, I approached our driveway and saw Will and some of his buddies out on the driveway playing. Whenever I see that, it immediately puts a grin on my face. We are fortunate to live in a neighborhood where there are always kids outside laughing and playing.
Many times when I come home, Will asks me if he can drive. Occasionally I will let him sit on my lap in the driveway and help me steer the van into the garage. Or we'll sit and go through what all of the different buttons, dials, letters and other things on the dash mean, and I will let him try some of them out. He gets a real kick out of it, and it doesn't take much time or effort on my part, so I figure it is worth it to see his wheels turning and his curiosity light up (can curiousity light up? Well, I say it can, so we'll go with that!)
Anyway, on this particular night - after the other parents and Leigh made sure the coast was clear, I pulled into the driveway. Will came running alongside of the van after I parked and said he wanted to 'drive'. I smiled and opened the door and let him in. What happened next was the part I did not expect. One of the neighbors' kids hopped up in my lap with Will. And then another. So there I am sitting, in the van, with the driver's side door open and three kids in my lap. One of them, Jack, then wanted to sit in the car seat. Then he asked to be strapped in. Ayken, who is 3, was sitting in the passenger seat. Will was still in my lap. I was in stitches, laughing so hard. I was parked probably five feet outside of the garage. I asked them if they were all ready to go for a ride. "Yeah!!!" they all said. So we drove the van the whole five feet into the garage, and they hopped out and went back to playing. You would have thought I had just handed them each a giant bag of candy or something - the smiles on their faces and the excitement in their eyes.
Sometimes in life, we can get so bogged down by everything going on that we forget to stop an smell the roses. We forget to stop, take everything in, appreciate the beauty around us, and just smile. We worry, wonder and complain. At least I do. On this night, it took three playful kids to remind me of how truly blessed I am, and to put things in perspective for me. Children teach me so many things. I am so thankful for them and their playfulness, and the joy that they bring me every time I am around them.
Who or what did you appreciate today?