This past weekend when I was mowing the lawn out front, my 3 1/2 year old daughter was cruising around in her cozy coupe in the driveway. The sun was shining, and there was a nice cool breeze that afternoon. While I was somewhat begrudgingly and definitely franticly pacing back and forth in the lawn, Penny did her thing. She raced from the garage to the crack in the driveway she isn't supposed to cross as fast as she could. Then she hopped out of the coupe and ran circles around the driveway. All the while she was waving, rather excitedly at me. Every time I turned the mower and walked towards her she would wave and say, "Hi Mommy!!!" with a huge goofy grin. Every. Single. Time. I couldn't help but wonder to myself if really, was she that excited to see me turn around and that excited to wave and say hi? I'm pretty sure she was.
She appeared to be having the time of her life running around in the driveway and waving to me while I was doing a chore.
While our children can be very complicated at times, God also made them pretty simple. They can find happiness in some of the easiest things. Even though this is pretty common knowledge (enter the idea of a child playing with a box instead of a toy), I seem to forget it pretty often. While scrolling through Facebook and Instagram these past few weeks of early summer, I'm met with pictures of families doing some pretty awesome things with their children. Things that require planning, packing, and coordinating. There was even a link for something along the lines of "10 Things to Do with Your Kids this Summer in Milwaukee." I'm kind of afraid to even go on Pinterest right now. Never mind the fact that my kids have been sick for a good portion of the last month. Never mind that my husband was gone for 7 straight days. Never mind that we completely (and finally) re-landscaped our backyard over the last few weekends. Never mind that I even tried to plan going to a fun amusement type park with my kids (which subsequently I cancelled due to a fever), I have been feeling guilty.
You know what? Even if I didn't have what I deem to be "good excuses," that is pretty ridiculous.
Maybe you have felt this way before?
I am not saying that planning and doing cool things with the kids is a bad thing. Just three days ago, I began talking and planning to make "Summer Bucket List" with two of my friends for this summer. My point is that in the mean time and during the busy time and during all the time really, we still need to love simple. God gave us these simple, complicated creatures so let's be sure to capture these easy memories and cherish them despite their simplicity. Instead of feeling guilty of all the experiences I could be giving my children, I need to see the ones they are already having.
So to help remind myself just this, here is a quick list of ten simple things that seem to make my children happy these days:
- Waving to me while mowing the lawn.
- Climbing a pile of dirt with each other.
- Eating previously discussed pile of dirt.
- Pointing at a plane flying by in the sky.
- Laying on a tiny lawn chair in the sun.
- Playing with a bucket full of water and measuring cups.
- Being tickled while being restrained within a carseat.
- Chasing and scaring Daddy while running through the house.
- Picking up sticks or rocks on a walk.
- Listening to the birdies chirping in the early morning.
What are simple things your children enjoy? Feel free to add to my list in the comments!
Happy simple summer!