Yesterday, my hubby and I came back from a lovely weekend away with our son and another couple, and their daughter Lola who has Down’s syndrome. The excuse for this weekend came as it was her 10th birthday and her mum, a very good friend of mine, wanted to celebrate this milestone with a nice break.
She suggested the Center Parcs in Wiltshire, as it had lots of great activities, the setting was in the forest and we could share some lovely accommodation at a pretty reasonable price for six of us. What’s more – and this was the clincher for me I have to say – there was a Spa where we adults could also indulge in some expert pampering.
As the date drew closer, I found myself getting more excited about the prospect of some quality family time, where fresh air, riding bikes and swimming would be a major part of our time. In the week leading up to our departure, as I changed nappies or got him dressed, I excitedly talked to my little boy about the prospect of us riding bicycles around the forest, and how we would be swimming in the pool and sharing fun times together. His language is coming along nicely and he can now recall names, so it was great to hear him recall Lola’s name so frequently. So he was super excited when the day arrived and we all met up in the cabin accommodation the chilly Friday afternoon. With her usual warmth and enthusiasm, Lola came in and reached for Jake to kiss him, holding his wee face in her strong hands. She has such kindness in her heart; it manifests itself in pure, unabated loving gestures with those she feels comfortable with. And being in her company, and indeed the company of small children, I was reminded acutely of the beauty of those little things in life – small gestures and little words that express life in its purest form.
When my boy just says, “Ooh, bird!” like it’s the first time he’s even seen one, or “Mummy, cuddle!”, my heart cannot help but melt – even if I’m busy, there’s something so endearing about a child who shows affection, or shares a moment of perfect observation. In that respect, children are a great reminder that we should be present to the joyful and simple pleasures of life. I’m very grateful for their prompts, I must say.
And then, just like some good lyrics to a song, I thought I’d include here some of the little things in life that bring me joy and I invite you to share yours to remind us all that if we take pleasure from the small things happening around us, and we integrate that awareness and joy in to our lives, we can only be richer for it.
Here are just twenty ‘little things’ that bring me joy:
- When my son laughs in his most unabashed way, and it’s so infectious, I can’t help but join in
- When my husband comes up behind me, and kisses me softly on the neck and says, “I love you.”
- When the sun catches one of the crystals hanging in our kitchen and sends rainbows dancing across the room
- When a friend calls out of the blue, and somehow it’s at the perfect moment for you both to connect
- When I get into my freshly made bed and my head sinks into the pillows as I breathe deeply
- When I’m sitting in the company of friends, sharing a laugh and we all know just how good it is to be together
- When my little boy says a new word
- When I’m playing some music that gives me goose-bumps
- When my husband and I spoon in bed
- When I can hear a client ‘get something’ and I can feel the breakthrough
- When I taste food that takes me to a good place
- When I’m walking through the park on a sunny Autumn day and I feel I’m some Impressionist painting, the colours are so vivid
- When a baby smiles at me
- When I read something that stirs me and it lingers long after its been read
- When I see people sharing a beautiful moment together
- When I walk into a room and can smell fresh flowers
- When I’m sitting on the deck of our house in Costa Rica, looking upon a sunset and the fragrance of Ylang Ylang permeates my every cell
- When I smell fresh coffee brewing
- When someone on the station platform catches my eye and we exchange smiles rather than scowls
- When I see my boy really engaging and playing with other children
There are so many more but I wanted to share just a few that came to mind right now. I welcome your thoughts…