COLUMN: Surprised by joy

The other day when I was supposed to be working, but wasn’t, I stumbled across a book by Robert Fulgham entitled ‘Everything I know, I learned in Kindergarten.’

As with all reasoning that is nothing more than good old-fashioned common sense, his logic seemed simple; almost too simple to work.

But, actually, if the truth be known, it does work.

I especially loved these words that Fulgham wrote, “live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day.”

I also liked his other rule about having a nap every afternoon, but somehow I have a feeling that rule might not sit too well with the nice people who sign my paycheck.

But living a balanced life, that has to be an attainable goal. It’s not as easy as it sounds, though.

It’s hard to even think about singing or dancing or, for that matter, any other forms of play when work and responsibility never seems to go away, but only change locations.

Lucky for me, I have all these grandchildren who have taught me, without even trying, how to live a balanced life.

One such teachable moment happened just yesterday.

The mom was shopping. The grandma (that would be me) was in charge of her three little boys. So I did what any good grandma would do. I bought them ice cream.

Caramel ice cream sundaes, to be exact. I didn’t buy myself one, because heaven only knows how many calories are in one of those little babies. And, anyway, I still needed a gentle reminder about balance.

We settled down at a table, the boys with their sundaes, and me with an extra spoon to help them out, if they needed it.

And that’s when it happened.

I got this feeling. I think they call it joy.

Now joy is probably not an emotion you would associate with sitting at a plastic table, on plastic stools, eating ice cream with three little boys.

But, for some reason, that’s where I happened to be.

I’m not sure when I first felt all joyful.

It could have been when I tasted a stolen spoonful of melt on your tongue delicious caramel sundae.

Or it could have happened when the three-year-old took my face in his sticky little hands and said, “Grandma, that’s my ice cream.”

One thing I know for sure. For a brief moment in time, I got to be a kid again. And that’s good. It’s all about balance.

Now, if I could just go have a nap!

Treena Mielke is the editor for the Rimbey Review.

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