Today I invented the possibility with my accountability partners (yes, I have two … it takes two to keep me in line) of being Courageous and Creative. That is my theme for this year.
No more business as usual.
That means some things are changing. I am completing things that aren’t working. I am giving up things I once loved to create a new future. I am purging my home of the unnecessary and unused. I am catching myself when I speak the usual broken record words or sound like my parents in their frustrated moments. Not always, but an astonishing amount of miracles are emerging where I would least expect them.
Simple miracles in simple moments that become the most meaningful.
Today after school, I picked up my eldest son at the second pick-up for the day, the sixth errand perhaps, and because I told my accountability partner that I would, and because I knew I could, I asked my children what they wanted to do.
“What would we do if we were being courageous and creative?”
Now, normally my son would get in the car, the kids might bicker a bit, talking over each other, vying for attention suddenly, and we would go home, spread out to our corners … Ben on homework near me on the computer and Bodee playing with a toy, his back to Bronson to protect his momentary obsession. We would have a snack together, maybe read a few books, but the day would continue predictably for the rest of the evening, including much whining as I cooked dinner, and terse reminders that the dinner table is not a trough and we are not pigs.
But this time, today was different. I am committed to being and causing Courage and Creativity!
We declare Hike Time! And then Ben suggests afterwards we go home and write about it. “That would be creative!” he says cleverly.
We hike through a new area by a secret marsh in Irvine. Being courageous, it’s a new area and we don’t have a map. As soon as Bodee even sniffs a whiff of boredom, I suddenly stop in my tracks and point, “BIGFOOT! TRACKS!” The boys are on high alert, and we urgently inspect the huge tracks of what seems to have been a very large-footed walker. Then … “SNAKE!!! The longest snake in the WOOOORLD!” I shout … at a long striped water hose.
“Oh Mommy, you’re funny, that’s not a snake.”
I am inspired by being considered funny. “Are you suuuuure?” I say slyly, and they realize they are not sure and boldly approach anyway.
We courageously go off the path and walk through winding trails. The boys pee in the bushes with glee and we christen it the “Pee Bush,” walking past it with our noses pinched. The afternoon is a delightful adventure of nature, trees, rocks, mud, birds, lizards, flowers, marsh ponds and singing boys filled with freedom.
We go home, and their drawings and writing about the adventure are as if we had gone to Disneyland.
Bodee also created an apology letter to a boy he insulted in school. It took great courage for him to acknowledge that he did that, and he very creatively wrote, “There were two boys who were MAD and then became friends.” Instead of, “There, ARE YOU HAPPY?” like he wanted to. It took courage for me not to get angry with him and to create understanding and the freedom to express himself … even if it did take three attempts at an apology.
We ate a delicious dinner and made a video for Daddy, who was working late. Bodee and the boys sang a song about how much they love Daddy. Priceless.
We even did a Venus Fly Trap science project afterwards–even though I really wanted to check out and write–because my children wanted to create something WITH ME. And it matters that it’s me that does it with them.
I am inspired by our creation. Inspired by the joy and glee in my children. When I bought them a pack of gum on one of the errands, they sang songs for ten minutes about Happy Glee Gum. When we found a new path, they shouted at the top of their lungs with bravado.What if we created like that? Expressed joy like that?
When my boys saw a tiny path, they took it, regardless of knowing where it might go. What if we were courageous in everyday actions … what new things, what miracles, might show up?