I was going to vacuum and if I had, I would’ve missed this–my kids running through the sprinkler.
It was a sunny and warm day today, not typical weather for April in Pennsylvania. The sun flooded through the windows, illuminating every single crumb that might have gone unnoticed on a cloudy day.
It was clear that the house needed to be vacuumed. Among other things, there were crumbled tortilla chips on the kitchen floor, left where my daughter threw them and stepped on when I was loading the dishwasher after dinner. I saw them a few times, basking in the sunlight and taunting me, and I kept thinking “after dinner, I will vacuum.”
But after dinner, my husband gave the kids each a popsicle and excitedly asked them if they wanted to go run through the sprinkler. His question was met with cheers from both kids. My son cheered because he knows how fun running through a sprinkler is on a hot day; my daughter, always one for a celebration, cheered and clapped because her brother already was doing both. She even started singing and moving her shoulders.
I said to my husband, “I think I will vacuum while you guys are outside,” and the kids ran off with him to get their bathing suits on and run through the sprinkler.
I heard them laughing upstairs as they hurriedly put on bathing suits and when they came down, I followed them outside. I decided the vacuuming could wait. And I went outside and sat in the grass, already getting wet from the sprinkler.
My husband and I sat in the sun with a cup of coffee and laughed and clapped as our kids did, too. My daughter’s joy was contagious. She ran through the sprinkler with no fear and when she got to the other side, she clapped and jumped up and down, the biggest smile on her perfect face. And I looked at my husband and smiled at him, too.
In a sea of obligations, worries, meltdowns, and crumbs, we had a perfect five minutes. Life doesn’t always look like this for us but I’m noticing when it does and saying my thanks for it.
My need for a clean house once caused me to miss out on some of these moments. There once were times when I even had a spotless house, but I wonder how many everyday moments I missed while I fought to maintain that perfection.
And I know that we can’t witness every single moment. It’s impossible for any of us. Sometimes, we need to work or rest or clean, even. But tonight, I almost missed out on a moment I didn’t need to miss out on at all. My house can stay messy tonight.
Tonight, I experienced an everyday moment–ones we all experience every, single day. But my eyes have been awakened to the beauty of the everyday. My children have called me to see the beauty right in front of me. How amazing it is to see the joy that comes from a simple sprinkler set up in our small yard on a warm, April day.
Thanks for Mothering the Divide with me. If you can, put aside something that can wait in order to see the beauty right in front of you. Give yourself permission simply to enjoy your life.