Seek Joy.

My boys and I love an adventure.

When we decided to start geocaching this summer I told my boys all about how we would have a mission all summer long, everywhere we went.  We searched out geocaches in our neighborhood and close by parks, we found some in Oklahoma City with Grandma.  Admittedly, the heat made the mission less fun.  That and we all got poison ivy.

But the thrill of a quest, something to find and accomplish gave our summer a little extra adventure.

~*~

Today and every weekday for the past month, Isaac woke up with silent tears in his eyes dreading a new day of school.  Honestly, I think middle school is going to be more fun than elementary school for him, but he’s in a very busy season.  Isaac’s school starts an hour later than Asher’s and by the time he gets home from school he has an hour or less of free time (none at all if there’s homework) before dinner and football practice most days. On Wednesdays he has even less time because piano lessons are before football.  He really needs his free time and he’s just not getting enough.  By the time football is over, the days will be shorter and I fear he’ll still be missing that time in the sun.

isaac-jr-longhorn-2016

Every. Single. Day. I explain why he has to go to school and how it’s hard, but good for him.  We talk about all the best parts of school: seeing his friends, his favorite classes, how funny his science teacher is, dismissal…  We have to take each task every morning and evening (because he starts dreading the next day at bedtime) one step at a time like someone in recovery.

“You don’t have to go to school right now, you just have to brush your teeth.”

Every. Single. Day. It breaks my heart.

Today, Isaac, you have a mission.  Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to seek out the joy.  Dig, scrounge, chase the moments in your day that make you happy.  Do you get to sit by the window and the sun shines through and warms your arm on your desk?  Let that make you smile.  Were you first to your lunch table? Take pride in that small moment.  Did you feel the breeze circling through the bus on your ride home?  Take it in and let it fill your soul.  Life is good, baby.  Life is hard, but it is good.  Every single day is one day closer to the end of 6th grade.  You’re going to make it.  I believe in you.

Choose joy.  Take the challenge.  Change your mind.  And pray for the help it will require to make the change.

All my love,

Mom

A Gift

Just a year ago, two boys (and their mom) moved in at the end of our street.  We met them one day as the boys and I headed to the court to practice riding Isaac’s bike without training wheels.  The boys at the end of the street were already pros at two wheelers and doing circles around us as we practiced balancing.  Within a week or two, Isaac was able to ride his bike with the other boys and they soon became friends.

We quickly crossed the boundaries of typical wave-when-you’re-at-the-mailbox neighbors, to neighborhood friends.  Now on any given afternoon, the youngest neighbor boy will barge into our house and immediately ask for candy (which I willingly give him (just one) because the more they eat, the less we have just sitting around the house).  During mealtimes, we have to lock our door, lest the boys walk in and choose to wait until we’re finished eating, thus distracting my boys from ever finishing their dinner.

What I love about the neighbor boys is that they are always outside.  They love to play and explore and run around.  That’s just what my kids need: opportunities to get rid of their endless source of energy.  My boys spent a lot of time this summer down at the court, exploring the woods beyond and making up games and just having fun.

Last Friday, my boys gave Randall and me a gift.  In a surprising change of events, Isaac was in a good mood when he hopped off the school bus Friday afternoon.  He ran inside and ate a snack and asked us to come see what he’d been doing the last few weeks.

Randall and I gladly grabbed a few balls and headed to the court.  We played a little tennis up at the subdivision clubhouse, then made a few shots in the basketball hoop.  Then Isaac asked us to come see the places he’d found within the woods.  The older neighbor boy found two little clearings within the trees and they decided they would call them “clubhouses.”

Isaac took us to see the biggest clubhouse first.  It was a clearing just big enough for a couple of broken chairs and a few boards to sit on.  Randall said that’d be the place the boys would go to drink in their teen years.  Randall even told Isaac that one day he’d want to take a girl back here and makeout.  I reminded Randall that Isaac had no idea what the term “makeout” means and he didn’t need to know.  Isaac was fine with that.  He was too distracted showing us the passages in and out of the small wooded area.

I’m not ready to think about the future.  In Isaac’s mind, this place is an imaginary mansion.  He kept calling it the “mansion clubhouse.”  You don’t drink and makeout in a mansion (shhh… don’t tell me what you do in your mansion).  In Isaac’s mansion, you sit on your throne and relax after a hard day of work.

Asher gave us a tour of the other clubhouse. It was much smaller, in a separate group of trees but had an emergency exit.  I loved hearing all about the things my boys have been imagining.  It made my heart smile.

Lastly, they brought us to a small vine, hanging off of a tree, where they could swing.  Asher seriously started humming the theme to Indiana Jones.

 

 

 

When I let my boys into my world a little bit, something happens in our family.  A bond is made and we all understand each other better.  When my boys help me cook dinner, or when I tell them all about the book I’ve just read, we connect on a level that brings us all closer together.  When my boys ask to hear about the stories I’m reading, or ask to be a part of my daily routine, I am overjoyed.

It was a gift, the boys gave us, to invite us into their little world.  But I bet it is a gift when I ask them to show me what excites them, just the same.  It’s something I never want us to grow out of, that’s for sure.

 

 

Isaac and Asher, please never stop including Mom and Dad in your adventures.  Let us always in on the joy that you find.  We love it!