Sometimes, the day wins. This is a fact and I won’t begin to preach about turning a bad day around because it’s just not always possible. And that’s totally OK. For me, today was one of those days. Even though I got up early, wore one of my favourite dresses, had a second coffee and enjoyed a few moments with F before we left the house, my day went sideways around 9:30 am and stuck that way.
When my scheduled gym-time lunch rolled around at 11:30, I grabbed my weight and found a mat in the corner to start my workout. Just as I was setting my things down, I noticed a child getting ready to jump into the pool. I quickly recognized the little ears and the stance as F’s and confirmed that yep – those are his swimming trunks, just as he jumped, completely free, into the pool.
So much of parenting is spent intently watching our children as they scream “Watch this, Mom!” before they do whatever thing it is they needed us to watch. We feign interest and excitement when the thing was boring, and we laugh to ourselves when it was modestly amusing. They’re moments that come and go, day in and day out.
But the moments we get to watch our kids doing something that makes them so happy when they don’t know we’re watching them? Those are the rare moments. The magic moments.
I stood for a few minutes watching him playing with his friends and thought of how differently he would have behaved had he known I was there. Instead of connecting with this peers, he would have been showing off for me. Instead of being fully present in the moment, he would have looked over his shoulder to see if I was watching. I was as happy for him as I was for myself knowing we both got every bit of magic out of that moment.
My mood shifted enormously watching his face light up as he jumped in and out of the water. When he exited the pool a few minutes later and wrapped himself in his towel, I was overcome with gratitude to have had the opportunity to experience such authentic joy. I won’t pretend my day magically got better and all the things that had gone wrong were suddenly righted because that’s not what happened. But watching F brought some lightness to my day.
It also reminded me that I’d forgotten to move the wet towels in my washing machine to the dryer this morning before I left the house.