I had one of those defining moments recently. You know, where you see something - perhaps one of those things you've always done - in a new light. My girls had two friends over for the day, which meant they outnumbered me 5 to 1. I knew it was futile to try to get any housework done, so we packed up and went to the park instead. Once it got too hot to be at the park (in the desert, that's about 10:30am - the slide was steaming!), we decided to cool off with some ice cream at our local diner.
As the waiter handed me five ice cream cups, I noticed several containers of sprinkles on the counter. "Do you mind if I put some of those on?" I asked. He hesitated, then gave me a half smile. "I guess it would be all right." I sprinkled about 10 mini fish-shaped sprinkles on each scoop and brought them over to the table.
The girls squealed with delight. "Mine has fish sprinkles!" "Mine too!" "They're soooo cute!!" And I realized, it doesn't take much to make something special. Ten fish sprinkles made all the difference to them between a fancy parfait and vanilla ice cream in a styrofoam cup. And the guy didn't even charge me for the sprinkles!
Life has a way of getting us to do many of the same things over and over again: Appointments. Laundry. Cooking. Church. Work. Errands. Laundry. Since becoming a mom, more and more I find myself inventing new ways of looking at and doing some of these monotonous tasks, for my own sanity as much as my kids'! And thanks to that nice waiter, I even have a name for it now: Life... with sprinkles.
~ Life will leave you broke and stuck at home on some hot summer day because, well, you just can't afford the water park every day.
Life with sprinkles will turn the kids loose with a big piece of bubble wrap, soap, and water for the best slip 'n slide ever! And they'll get clean too...
~ Life will inevitably have your kids bored, waiting for you to finish a project somewhere (in our case, often the church building) so they can go home.
Life with sprinkles will turn on the lawn sprinklers and let the kids go wild, to the point that they're the ones not ready to go home!
~ Life causes one to spend, on average, 45-60 minutes waiting each time you go to a doctor.
Life with sprinkles dyes their kids' hair pink before coming to their 3 year checkup, then has them hide in the examining room closet like a spy and play doctor with a tongue depressor (don't judge me! We waited more than two hours..).
~ Life sometimes makes you tempted to tell your kids, "Go outside and play, you're driving me crazy!"
Life with sprinkles will send them outside, armed with an old ball of yarn so they can make a giant spiderweb/obstacle course (and maybe leave off the last part about driving you crazy).
~Life means running errands with small, sticky, sometimes ill-tempered children.
Life with sprinkles means letting them pretend to talk on the department store phones once in awhile, if no one is looking and if you know that picking it up won't call anyone. If.
~ Life, at some point or another, will probably get you pulled over for something. (If life doesn't, speeding definitely will!)
|For the record, I got off with a warning!|
But you get the idea -
Life will have its share of booboos, mishaps, long days, and traffic jams. It's unavoidable.
But life with sprinkles will have an ample supply of Angry Birds bandaids to make them feel a little better.
So go ahead - Use a little creativity and add your own sprinkles... you'll be glad you did, and so will those around you!