I think it’s difficult for people in the 21st century to realize simple joys in life because we’re always looking for the bigger bangs we see that others are experiencing. A lot of this is because we are so wrapped up in being material bound. Materialism is all around us.
Every media outlet overwhelms us with reports of grandeur about stars and starlets having this or having that. Our neighbors are always one-upping us with newer more expensive cars, stories about exotic vacations in the Caribbean, or rants of their 3rd summer home in Florida. We witness similar boasts at work, at the gym, and everywhere we go. We want what others have and often miss what’s right in front of our eyes. Although these things may be important to the people whom attained them, I don’t need to make them exclusive in my heart as a means towards my immediate happiness.
The past years, I’ve been trying to make a conscious effort at recognizing the hundreds of simple things that are plainly super in my life and occur daily. These experiences are minor at first glance yet they are big deals depending upon how I really view them. I’ve noticed many remarkable situations the past days. I want to mention a few of those distinctive little things that do matter and make my life special now.
Three days ago, my oldest teenage son commented on his cousin’s Facebook page. My niece posted photos of her grandmother who left this world six years ago. He clicked the like button and posted comments about how much he loved my mother, and how he deeply missed her. My son talked about how he liked going over to visit grandma and wished she was still with us. In that moment, I felt pride and satisfaction in seeing his loving response in memory of his grandmother. I held on to his reply in my heart and let it build momentum, leading me to experience an ongoing joy for a life once lived and for a budding life in progress. Good memories last forever!
Two nights ago, I text both my sons and they responded back. “I love you too, Dad” my oldest son said. My youngest text said, “me 2 daf”. The response is awesome in its own right and he merely made a typo; the “f” is next to the “d” for “dad” on his key pad. For me, I really did laugh out loud. Reading “daf” instead of “dad” just hit me as seriously funny. I love it and giggled on and off the remaining hours of my evening. My son is the master of the text kingdom. It wouldn’t surprise me if he sends out 300 messages a day when I don’t send 30 per month. I know he was preoccupied playing video games, texting friends, or talking with a girl; or maybe he was busy doing his homework (a moment in silence for prayer). I realized love, joy, and humor, in an uncomplicated text message.
Last evening, my youngest telephoned me. He asked, “Dad, can me and Audrey come over for dinner tomorrow night?” I told him of course you guys can. Why would you even ask me that? “Can you make Caesar salad,” he said? In the early 90s, I was in northern Italy quite often as I lived in Rijeka, Croatia, only a tee-shot from the Italian border. I could see the city lights of Trieste, Italy, at night from my hillside house on the bay. However, a Caesar salad? I’ve never been to Rome! I told my boy that I would do recon to gather the necessary information on how to prepare a Caesar salad (see: any mom). He told me, “Dad, it has chicken in it!”
I smiled as we chatted and carried thoughts from our interaction to bed and they’re still with me this morning. Three months ago, my youngest wouldn’t eat broccoli and at the present time he loves it. Last week he didn’t eat salad and this week he’s craving Caesar to come party with us at dinnertime. A month ago he’s a teenager with a driving permit and today he’s a licensed driver (as a pedestrian, is my old catcher’s gear out in the shed?). Not long ago he was a popular single guy between girlfriends and today he’s a sophomore with a very pretty senior on his arm. My 16-year old boy is growing up. I find joy and happiness in his funny, unique ways.
This morning I am happy. There are so many tiny occurrences that happen in our lives daily and it helps me to be conscious of these minor events as they’re presented to me. They are big deals when I’m able to feel a magnitude of effortless joy if I open my mind and heart to receiving them. I’m evolving as are my two teenaged boys. “Hail Caesar!”
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