Oh Happy Day! It’s Friday, and that means celebration in my world (like it does in yours, I’m sure). The anticipation of the weekend was already in bloom as the kids were getting ready for their “it’s a school day” routine this morning. Friday mornings have become more relaxed for me lately. I often start the day with a photo field trip of some kind — the product of which usually ends up on my design blog — followed by a frappacino breakfast before settling into my office for real work. It’s a blessing and boost to creativity to take some time looking at something new or seeing something familiar in a new way every once and a while.
Now that I’m back in my office after this morning’s jaunt, looking at the piles through the lens of having shirked them for a few minutes, I’m actually relishing this place that has become my daily familiar. It’s been a full, but good week. I’ve been blessed with confirmation on a couple of new projects. We’ve celebrated Bug’s four-year-old kindergarten graduation. I joined Little Drummer Boy on his end-of-the-year field trip. Balls were miraculously caught in tee ball games. And, hallelujah, Baby Girl was able to take her white fuzzy dog for show and tell today. It’s good to reflect on accomplishments, big and small. And my office is a good place to do it. It’s given me the opportunity to reflect already this week.
I’m in my office. Like I am a lot. And somehow they all end up here. The kids, I mean. This place of wonder where Mommy spends her days and keeps her computers and displays art treasures has become somewhat of a magnet for curiosity. Maybe it’s just a peaceful, but less-used place for them.
Maybe it’s the place that holds me during the days when I’ve assured them I miss them every minute. So, they feel compelled to fill it with reminders of themselves. Maybe it’s the small items sitting everywhere — quirky toys and objects I’ve picked up through the years that were introduced into their lives when I began working from home. Maybe it’s because sometimes they’re not allowed to play here. They just somehow all end up here.
I came down the five steps of our enclosed breezeway to my office one evening this week while they were playing outside, like I often do. A typical night. I was putting away some straggling parts of the work day, as my habits seem to dictate. One by one, they made their way in.
They know where the colored paper lives, and they pull it out to choose their pleasure. They know the skinny marker cup and the fat marker pot and the zigzag scissors holder and the way to drag the chairs so they all have a corner of the work table. And the tape. Baby Girl loves the tape.
They explored and created while I put things away. And, in the process, I found new places for their scribbled gifts and listened to their excitement as background noise.
“This smells nice.”
“What is this?”
“Mommy DON’T look at this!”
One shared letters and spelling secrets with another, coaching out some covert message. Scribbles spilled over from the red and purple paper onto the butcher block tabletop. I’m so glad washable markers don’t wash out completely from wood. I don’t know if I could work each day without the reminders of their slippage outside the lines.
I was thinking the other day how difficult it’s been to muster writing topics — how devoid of profundity I seem to have been lately in this season of ballgame schedules and end-of-school activities. How I’ve been searching for the will to compose meaningful thoughts in the face of busy project lists.
I read the phrase “joy of life” in an article this week. It was something a writer had recognized while paying attention to an unexpected walk through a London park. Just like what I find looking around my office on an evening like Wednesday evening. Not a birthday or a holiday, just a Wednesday evening. When I listened to the secret conversations and found places for the zigzagged hearts decorated with “I love Momy” and exclamation points and fives — lots of number fives.
Three test cases for joy and profundity staring me in the face. Their brilliance so blinding that I can scarcely believe I’m so fortunate to be able to see it.
Oh Happy Day.