It is always the little things, the inconveniences; the frustrations; the annoyances; the unexpected twists in the day, that tend to get me worked up and make me lose focus. Those obstacles distract me from noticing or remembering all the other little things that make life beautiful. In order to help myself choose to see the beauty and blessings of every day, I’ve decided to keep a list. This list will grow over time, and items will be captured in no particular order other than the order in which they occur to me at any given moment. I expect the “little things list” will appear here periodically… picking up wherever the last post ended. I hope some of these things are recognizable to you…
1. laughter… our children’s laughter. the genuine expression of happiness that is represented by this is unmatched. all four of the boys have a certain laugh about them when they just give in to hilarity of the moment that just makes me smile to think about. and i love the little sigh at the end
2. random calls from the wife throughout the day…one of my favorite things in life is that i get to have the vicarious experiences of Kendra’s daily adventures with the boys. i love to hear about where they are, what they’ve done, what they’re doing, and what their reaction is to it all. i like listening to the background noise and hearing all the activity… some days it’s laughter, some days it’s crying, and some days it is absolute madness. i like to use the background noise and the level of exasperation in Kendra’s voice as a measure of how quickly i need to start shutting down and packing up for home (there is rarely ever any… so when i hear it, i know it’s been a seriously hectic day). some of the best advice i have ever received came from a guy i interviewed with shortly after having the twins. he was a father of two sets of twins a couple years apart. he told me how his wife would always seem to call when he was right in the middle of something at work to talk about some random topic or another. he said it took him a little while to realize that she needed those conversations so she could just recharge and connect with him throughout the day. talking to an adult about even the most random of topics did a lot to restore her sanity. he came to understand that the little moments of support went a long way, and it gave him a window into their day that he would otherwise not have had. i have tried to keep that in mind.
3. baby breath… enjoy it while you can. it changes. fast.
4. trampolines… so much to say on this topic… i may have to dedicate some posts to this alone
5. windows into their world… i love when they initiate chance conversations about whatever is on their mind – story characters, video game plots, puzzles, Star Wars, music, bizarre hypothetical situations…anything. if they can’t talk to you about the little things, they won’t come talk to you about the big things.
6. helpers… sons jumping up on the counter to help make pancakes or help Kendra bake cookies…helping me load the chimney to start the coals for the grill… even the tiniest of effort for the smallest amount of time
7. bikes… i love the forward motion and the sensation of gliding along. riding bikes was one of the first activities Logan and i did together. we still head out occasionally. i put training wheels on Jaden’s old bike for Ethan. he was in Heaven.
8. friends… ours and theirs. i enjoy watching them interact with their friends. there is nothing quite like the chaos and destruction that can be ushered forth like a pack of 6 year-olds. beautiful. i can only hope they all grow up and go their separate ways so they can remember what good times they had and how much they meant to one another… somehow that realization doesn’t seem to set in any other way. maybe their generation will figure out how to appreciate what they have while they still have it. i’m still trying to learn.
9. chocolate milk… because it’s all about the spoon
10. time… maximize the time that exists rather than using that time to complain about the time that doesn’t. i was reminded recently that children only have one childhood… so true, and it flies by swiftly. do what you can to make the most of it. these slices of time are precious…i try to keep in mind that i want the last interaction i had with each of my sons to be one i won’t regret him remembering.
…to be continued. Thanks for coming along for the ride!