I decided to suspend disbelief for a time so that I could enjoy watching my daughters (aged six and five) make an “adventure.” They constructed pretend vehicles from plastic toy bins (which is where the suspension of normal cognitive processes came into play: I chose, for the moment, not to think about where the toys that properly reside in those bins must be if the bins were presently occupied by my daughters). The girls had placed blankets and pillows in the bins and sat in them imagining themselves to be on wild journeys to the far corners of the globe. They would arrive at various exotic destinations, leap out of their bins to explore, and then jump back in to fly (or drive or sail—the toy bins seemed to be highly versatile means of conveyance) to their next land of mystery and enchantment.
After one such stop, the five-year-old yelled to her sister: “Get in, Steph! Let’s go all the way to Timbuktu!”
To which Steph replied, in a pique of enthusiasm, “We’ll go all the way to Timbuk-three!”
Good attitude—if you’re going to go, go big!
Which I sometimes have to remind myself of in moments of . . . decision.
Such as that I faced last week when I poked my head out the door one Saturday morning to be greeted with gray skies, sodden grass, and drizzle, drizzle everywhere.
My first reaction was to grumble. To sigh. To see in my mind’s eye muddy messes, mountains of laundry, and soggy socks left draped and dripping on the backs of chairs. Grrr.
Then my six-year-old daughter—Miss Timbuk-three herself—came up and poked her head out alongside me. And the scene before us elicited a totally different response from her: a smile broke out on her face and she positively glowed like the sunshine missing from the sky above and declared: “Oh joy! Puddles!”
I had to laugh.
So much depends on how you look at things. It can be Grrr or Glow. And it’s all up to you.
The better part is to choose Glow. As Scripture tells us: “Go, eat your bread with joy and drink your wine with a merry heart, because it is now that God favors your works.” 9 Eccl 7.
This applies especially to parenting (just replace the bread and wine with PB&J and apple juice). This is the time to enjoy our life with our families. It is in this now that we have our life, and it is now that God will favor the works we choose to undertake.
Besides, how can you deny a little girl the “Oh Joy!” of puddles just waiting to be splashed in? And once the other kids heard tell of untamed puddles they all came running. So I suited them up in rain jackets and rubber boots and out we went out into the persistent precipitation to partake in the wondrous fun of “puddle jumping” (as the kids term it).
And we had a great time.
Glowing has its own rewards!
Copyright 2015 Jake Frost.
About the Author
Jake Frost is an attorney, husband, and father of four grade-school aged kids. He’s the author of five books: Catholic Dad: (Mostly) Funny Stories of Faith, Family, and Fatherhood; Catholic Dad 2: More (Mostly) Funny Stories of Faith, Family, and Fatherhood; From Dust to Stars: Poems by Jake Frost; Victory! Poems by Jake Frost; and a children’s book he also illustrated called The Happy Jar.