Recently, I looked at The Man of the House….really looked at him. I noticed the silver creeping into his hair more, the tired lines around his eyes.
When was the last time his eyes had twinkled, had he laughed?
So often, we look at each other but in our busyness, we don’t really see.
My children tell me about exciting moments in their lives- eyes shining, crooked grins forming, hands gesturing wildly.
How many times have I listened half-heartedly, focusing more on tasks I’m working on or worries plaguing me?
How often do I really see the beauty in the daily activities that we sometimes call ‘grind’?
Running a bath for my daughter- only occasionally now as she’s likes to do it herself- and hearing her sing to herself; in her own water world that has transformed into whatever her imagination has fantasized.
Then, later, me waiting impatiently to blow dry her hair, she arrives in fresh PJs, with her towel wrapped turban-style with only her eyes and nose showing. She makes me smile.
Cooking dinner and trying to get things done before rushing off for soccer practice; my eleven year old daughter comes up behind me and gives me a hug. Not just a cursory hug- a real hug.
She smiles, looks into my eyes, knows I’m about to wriggle out of her grasp in order to drain the pasta.
She tells me, “We have a connection, Mom.” I put down the pot, wrap my arms around her and press my forehead to hers. Yes, we do.
Taking a breather…really trying to relax after cleaning like crazy for a house showing (that was later canceled), my fourteen year old son walks by and just lifts my hand and holds it for a moment. He smiles at me and encourages me to relax.
Hearing my children chorus much like frogs in the night with their “thank yous” at dinner time. I sing out a long “You’re Welllcome” with a smile on my face.
Taking a morning- really grasping hold of it and claiming it for my own– to stay in bed and snuggle with The Man of the House.
To first absorb the deliciousness of a quiet house (kids not woken yet) and a warm, familiar body. To feel worries and tensions drain away.
Then to talk softly about life: goals, children, etc. And, last of all, to put on an old movie and watch it, legs entwined, pillows a wonder of downy softness, the view out the window pale gray and foggy.
Later, the children waking on their own schedule and wondering why the house is so quiet on a school morning; coming up to find bacon and eggs cooking and Mom and Dad full of patience and serenity; waiting for warm hugs.
Even noticing the dog- who spends years of her life anticipating what we may want or need of her, greeting us with the same exuberant joy every. single. time. we arrive home.
She gets ordered off the couch if we need more space or put outdoors if we have company over. Cheerfully, she complies. Never does she complain.
Just today, washing up some dishes by hand- those that couldn’t fit in the dishwasher- I noticed how therapeutic it can be to immerse your hands in hot, soapy water. To think or dream while methodically washing the dishes.
These little things, little moments are the stuff of which a good life is made.
Of course, life is full of difficulties, too. Children argue, people get grumpy and things go wrong. But, I think if we make it a habit to really see the loveliness in an ordinary life, not only will we have so many less regrets later, but we’ll be able to withstand the difficulties thrown our way with a greater patience and broader outlook.
Here’s to looking for that which is lovely!