Joy is not in things; it is in us. – Richard Wagner
For the past few years I’ve written about hits and misses where we get to create our own joy. It is all around us if we are smart enough to recognize opportunities to treasure.
- Parents, grandparents and kids out to dinner but instead of sharing conversation, laughter and stories from their grandparents, the kids play handheld games while the adults talk.
- The dad at the farmer’s market not taking advantage of the opportunity to engage his nine-year old in discussions around the colors, textures, cultures, menus, and health benefits of fruits and vegetables. The boy is too busy texting.
- The mom in the stands at the little league game who misses her daughter’s line drive because she really wasn’t present.
- The overworked dad who opens the door at the end of the day greeted by squealing toddlers who tackle him to the ground attacking him with kisses and hugs.
- The young woman celebrating her sweet 16 who talks about the ‘girl’ times she spent with her mom, and the moments of laughter and dancing around the kitchen she shares with her dad, as she calls them up to light her very first candle.
- The grandparents who carefully plan ‘grancamp’ every year in a cabin with no cable TV or internet access, but rather a lake stocked with fish and a family room full of board games.
Here is homework I assign to parents at the conclusion of seminars: ask your children to share their very best memory. I doubt it will ever be something you bought them, or an expensive vacation, but rather the silly little things you did with them.
Creating joy is that simple and inexpensive. The summer is a great time to relax the rules, toss the schedule and really have fun. You can expect to hear a lot more on this topic. Sign up for Twitter updates on how to have fun with the kids all summer long.
Today’s assignment: go find joy!
Tina Nocera, Founder