An Ode to Joy


I spoke with a friend of mine this morning and noticed that her 6-year-old daughter looked extra cute. Her long, normally straight hair hung in big, brown waves. When I mentioned how adorable she looked, the mom and daughter both beamed. “We had a mom & daughter spa night last night,” the mom explained. What a cute idea, I thought. But it was the daughter who really got my attention. “In the middle of the night!” she bellowed. The smile on her face was so huge it looked as though it might crack her in half.

Now – I should explain something here. My friend is a mother of four who works full-time. She has a fourth grader, a first grader and twin 16-month-old toddlers. This lady is busy. Even still, I was surprised by the idea of a middle of the night spa time with her 6-year-old. My friend was still wearing her own huge smile as she explained to me that she had been promising her daughter a spa night for the last four nights but it just hadn’t worked because her husband had been out of town and the twins’ schedule was not cooperating. “So,” she said, “I finally had time at about 1:30 a.m. last night and I thought what the heck! I woke her up and she was thrilled!” They put curlers in each other’s hair and did a little foot soak and went back to bed.

I imagine I hear some of you groaning right about now. So, what? Now I have to give up my sleep and wake my kid up in the middle of the night to finish yet another thing I couldn’t get to? Is this just one more example of some perfect parent that I can’t measure up to? Or, you’re possibly thinking it’s crazy to wake your kid up in the middle of the night. If that’s the case, you’re missing the point.

This kid was thrilled! Not only was it a really special moment that she alone shared with her mom but it was a very special moment with the added bonus that it was crazy. Hanging out with your mom in the middle of the night is a spectacular, secret thing. My friend did something a little nuts and a whole lot of wonderful. She had turned something nice into something fantastic. This was a memory that her daughter will never forget. It was a moment of joy between the two of them.

That, my friends, is the point. It’s finding those small moments to create joy. Taking the time to make those memories together is one of the best parts of parenting. She has inspired me to think outside of the box. Go a little crazy. Bring some joy into your life whenever and however you can. You’ll make your kid’s day. Or night.

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