But today, I had SPONTANEOUS joy! You see, there are many different kinds of joy. Most of the joy I catch is in retrospect. I remember a moment that made me happy and I feel joy.
Then there is the joy you are conscious of as it happens. Like I'm hiking with my family and I say to myself, "This is so awesome. I am catching joy. I need to roll in these moments."
Now spontaneous joy - THAT is different. Here's an example. Now - if you have ever had children, (or a puppy, maybe?) this will resonate.
Do you remember when your first born (or all your borns) was sleeping in their crib at like 4 months old? You come into their room first thing in the morning. You see them lift their little head when they hear you enter and then they greet you - with the biggest, sweetest most amazing toothless smile/giggle one could EVER imagine, kicking their little legs and waving their little fists? And you break into a spontaneous smile (because you couldn't possibly NOT break into one!) and start cooing to them? That is spontaneous joy!
So you may or may not know that
Now why am I boring you with all this? Well, my only daughter Brooke who is 8, refuses to play team sports. So me, dreaming of being able to figure skate for most of my life, decided to try Brooke on skates.
One October Saturday morning, I sent her out on the ice for the first time EVER in a Learn to Skate class of little kids about her age. It was a nightmare. She could not stand up, never mind move. SHE HAD NEVER BEEN ON THE ICE BEFORE. WHAT WAS I THINKING?????? She cried for 20 minutes as older girls repeatedly picked her up off the ice and tried to keep her upright. Not only did I cry for her from the sidelines, I did everything I could do not to throw up. About half way through the 45 minute lesson, she was escorted off the ice and into the safety of my arms. There she wept her little heart out and I cried right along with her. After about 5 minutes, she lifted her head off my shoulder and said, "Ok, I have to go back out." WHATTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT??????
And so she did. It was only afterwards that I was told by her coach that she had made a deal with Brooke. The deal was that she would let Brooke leave the ice and be with her Mom as long as she promised to come back out before the class ended. That's my Brooke...determined, bright, driven...
Brooke now skates several hours a week at two different skating rinks, has her own coach and loves it. Whoever said you can't live vicariously through your kids? I watch every second that she is on the ice. I'm addicted.
The reason I am telling you this story is because today, I was in the stands surrounded by the book I always bring, but never open, the newspaper I never read, the checkbook that I always plan to balance, but never do (all the things I bring to occupy my time while she skates for two hours) when I watched my daughter, after only TWENTY skating months, execute 3 perfect backwards crossovers into a waltz jump into a side toe hop into another waltz jump. Now I know only my facebook friend Aileen could possibly know what I am talking about - but WHO CARES?!!! The point is - I smiled the biggest, most spontaneous smile - almost EVER. Complete, spontaneous JOY!