Life can be full of some big and not so big surprises. And thanks to children, many parents get to experience little surprises everyday. For one, I am always surprised at how important the “presentation” actually is. My youngest won’t touch a whole banana, but cut it into circles and she’s ready for a competitive eating contest. And, did you know that sandwiches taste oodles better when cut into squares instead of triangles? My older daughter swears by it.
We are pleasantly surprised when our children greet us in the morning and confidently declare, “We’re going to be nice today.” Like that morning song that replays in our head all day, it fascinates me to think that our day will be, what we decide it will be, first thing in the morning. Our day certainly may be full of different feelings – ups and downs, happiness and tiredness, madness and gladness. But, there is something we “feel” that isn’t really a “feeling” at all. It’s love. I’m finally understanding that real love is surprisingly, a decision, and not a feeling that changes with our moods.
It’s also surprising to me how closely our every move is studied by our kids. The other day, my daughter told her daddy and me that she had written our names down and would let us know if we got a check mark or an “aaanh” mark (like a basketball buzzer…a miss…a no-go…a try-better-next-time) by the end of the day. Really, really?!
I’ve also found that surprisingly short sentences are way better than long ones when trying to corral kids into a car. Instead of, “Hey kids, it’s time to get going. Be sure to go to the bathroom, get your shoes on and get into the car, blah, blah, blah,” I say, “Potty. Shoes. Car. Potty. Shoes. Car.” That just seems to work better for us.
Delicious surprises also come to mind. Donna and Val are theme-party-queens! They’re just so good at it! I always secretly wish I was a little kid at the birthday parties they throw because I SERIOUSLY WANT ONE OF THOSE GOODIE BAGS! Anyway.
At my godson’s party, Donna made lemonade with fresh blueberries at the bottom…mmmmm…what a decadent surprise. Drinking out of the flamingo straws at her daughter’s party just made me feel so darn fancy…I had to lift my pinky high in the air to finish that punch! And the cakes…oh, don’t get me started on those amazing cakes! After Val’s son’s party, I sported my kids’ Mickey Mouse ears and created with those Mickey-shaped crayons all evening long…and savored every colorful minute!
And, then there are things that just…catch us by surprise. I remember the day I felt the sting of a line drive in my mouth instead of a glove. I also vividly recall that early spring morning when Deana and I “kidnapped” my good friend, Kim, and took her to Denny’s in her pj’s for a birthday surprise. And, if a friend surprises you after she generously coats her kissers in “Chapstick” (in the dark), be sure to tell her that you still love her rodeo-clown-self despite the fact that she had actually grabbed her rockin’ red “lipstick.”
Some surprises even give us reason to slow it down a notch. My hubby was surprised to find a snake wrapped up in the handle of the barn door as he hurriedly went to check on one more thing that morning. He has also vowed to stop doing moonlight gardening after a nasty encounter with a black widow. And, I’m finding out that the more you try to rush kids, the more “turtle speed” they go.
Finally, there are surprises that give us the opportunity to reflect (or check out our reflection, at least). Living outside the city limits provides the chance to see some, um, wildlife, I guess you could say. I wasn’t sure who was knocking at our glass front door that day back in ‘05, but was extremely surprised to see that our guest had horns…big ones! Where do a two year old and a mom with a growing belly hide from a ram who is aggressively charging its reflection on the front porch? In a dark closet with a phone to call your awesome neighbor, Karen, for help!
And, yes, there was that other surprising day when a peacock charged my car again and again while looking at its reflection. I vowed never to wash my car after that. That stinkin’ car was too clean! Well, that’s the reason I tell my hubby for not washing it more often…love you, honey!
We all peek in the mirror at least once a day, right? (Or, if you have a newborn…at least once a week?) On a regular basis, we search for random black facial hairs, gray hairs, eye boogies, regular boogies, dried toothpaste, dry skin, and blemishes. Would there be any surprises if the mirror would allow us to catch a glimpse of what’s underneath?