Everyday Magic: The Choice to Love the Simple Life

Friday, January 15, 2010

My days are made up of tiny moments of magic... Everyday, unspectacular, unremarkable magic. Like today: holding a locomotive in the palm of my hand, making pumpkins into cookies, watching bubbles float on air, making pieces of wooden track into drumsticks... Seeing a bucket become a boat... being told the growl coming from my sink is a monster, not a disposal... Tiny prehistoric reptiles stalking my countertops...


All of it.

And yet.... romantic as that sounds, as pretty as the photographs are... As BEAUTIFUL a little life it may seem, it hit me today that for some people (for many, probably), my little life would be DEATH to them. The repetition. The mundane nothings. The absolute drudgery of being trapped at home, for hours on end, with only a small child to talk to. The housekeeping. The patience. The cleaning up of the SAME MESS TEN TIMES. Aprons. Dishes. Carrot sticks. Sesame Street. Laundry. Nursery rhymes. Pacing the same small collection of rooms hour after hour, doing the same things again and again.

And... put like that, I don't blame ANYONE for not wanting what I have right now. For needing to escape into a bigger, more bustling, more spectacular world.

But for me?

This is magic. Even the tough stuff... the whining and the messes and the strong will of a little person who has no logic. This is exactly where I want to be.

Making me realize, IT'S ALL HOW YOU CHOOSE TO SEE IT. My life, seen through someone else's eyes, might be a torture of mundacity (* I think I made that word up. ?). But since I am me, and I am approaching my life with the creativity, self-reliance, resilience, and humor I was gifted with, I can look at these everyday things with more awareness. I have been groomed through years of reading, writing, self-expression, and introspection, to have the power to see the mundane and find something beautiful about it.

I CHOOSE TO LOVE THIS. And after choosing to love it for enough days... weeks.... months... years.... It no longer is a conscious decision. It just IS. I just DO. Live, love, and appreciate this season of home-ness. Mother-ness. Nurturing-ness.

Because make no mistake-- it IS but a season. And I am only a steward of this small being (and future beings) for the briefest window. And so while this may sometimes seem to drag day after day after day.... Before I know it, the days will have run out and I will no longer be tied to the home, the child, the task of daily caregiving. And what was once perhaps a bit tedious will suddenly be something poignantly wished for, even for a moment.

And so... as I move from room to room, seeing pieces of a train set here and there, picking up loose toys, cutting up a grilled cheese sandwich, wiping a nose for the eleventy-billionth time... I let myself LOVE it. I choose to see this as EXACTLY what I want to be doing, this very minute.

And I feel at peace, moving from room to room, the wee one at my heels every moment.

There will be time enough for excursions into the bustling, cosmopolitan, social world.

But not today. Today, I have cookies to take off of the cookie sheet. Some laundry to put away. And a few good stories, songs, and games to play with the little one who makes me feel complete joy a million times a day.

And this is MAGIC. To me.


(The photograph: Saw this little dinosaur on my countertop yesterday and it about did me in. Auntie Mary had gotten it for Noah at the Science Center yesterday, and it had been left behind among the lunch dishes... and looking at this microscopic stegosaurus on my countertop, completely out of place and yet so PERFECT, I thought, "It BEGINS. This life with a BOY who will treasure the most motley collection of doo-dads and trinkets, left around the house in unexpected places. It BEGINS. I no longer have a BABY. I have a BOY."....
And I LOVE it.

So I had to take a photo. Of course. :))


  1. OK, this is probably going to come out sounding selfish - and it probably is.

    But I am so thankful that you choose to love the life you have, because it is one I wish I could have and it would hurt me a little (OK, on some days, a LOT) if you *didn't* love it. Especially since I love your little guy as much as it's possible for an aunt to do.

    So, thank you for loving your life with your boy(s) and thank you for sharing as much as you do.

  2. I love everything about this post Emily. Maybe the next time I'm about to lose it because I'm cleaning up the same toy for the 8th time I will remember what you wrote and take a deep breath. Thanks for sharing!

  3. As one who does poignantly wish for the days of small ones again, I think I may cry. Beautiful post Emily!

  4. Emily, you are SO good with words! And like you said, or I interpreted while reading, you have been blessed to be groomed in reading, writing, finding the special in the mundane. What a perfect way to look at your education, whether it be formal or informal from your mother. This is EXACTLY how I feel today. Do you mind if quote you in a post I'm about to write? Okay, I'll take that as a "yes." Who doesn't love to be quoted. You're so wise!

  5. Ah, my dear one, it is magic. Revel in it. I'm so glad that you choose to find the beauty in the rhythm of your days. You will never regret listening to all of those important whispers of your soul.

  6. Thanks for sharing! I was feeling the same way today... Chelsey lead me here, fyi.

    I also LOVE the light in your photos! I'm just now experimenting with photography and I'd love to hear how you do it. If you have a second, could you shoot me an email?

    If not, I understand. I'm the mother of two so I get it!!

  7. So beautifully written...The magic is fleeting, but still manages to sneek its way in (tahnk Goodness) get's better, it gets different (as they grow), but it stays forever special, forever precious, forever treasured....Thank you for the reminder on a day in which it would have been very easy to lose sight of the "magic"....

  8. Can you come say this to all my working friends out here? For the bajillionth time, my friend last night told me she would go crazy if she had to stay at home all day with her kids. I don't know how to explain how much I love my life. It is brutal sometimes. And yesterday after cleaning up an the ENTIRE contents of a maple syrup bottle (my table, chairs, floor, child are still sticky) I definitely wanted out. But then it's over, and then it's funny, and then they finally go to bed and you can recover :) I love how you see your life and express it.

  9. <3 <3 <3 that is all.

  10. When I was working FT stuck behind desk, I desperately longed for the day when I had kids of my own to stay home with... to play with... to care for. Well, it's been a little over five years now that I am officially known as a SAHM. And when the screaming is so loud it's about to make my head pop, when I feel like the rug is about to be pulled out from under me, I give myself a gentle reminder that this is exactly where I want to be! :)

  11. I know I have a pretty decent way with words, but with posts like this, I wish I had YOUR way with words- I love the way you write so much! I love the magic of your life and am yet again so thankful for parents like ours who lived a life that fostered our own creativity and imaginations, something that you are so wonderfully passing onto your adorable little boy (I LOVE that kid!) I am thankful that you have already learned what so many simply do not *get*- that so much of life is directly connected to the way you choose to view it.

    Remember this. On days when the world in general just frustrates you (or when stupid people/drivers make you want to yell and scream... oh wait, that's me projecting... sorry :)- just remember that you love over anger, joy over frustration- you choose magic over mundacity.

    (real word or not, I think it's a great one!)

  12. Your eloquence does the subject matter perfect justice. It IS magic. And it IS a choice. And it is...wonderful, as are you my dear and your stegosaurus too.

  13. What a way you have with words! Thanks for making me think. It is nice to know that I have friends who are in the same boat that I am!


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