- Family and Parenting
The Unexpected Joy of Cold, Hard Floor
#10 in Reflections of Life's Unexpected Joys
The Unexpected Joy of a Cold, Hard Floor
How can a cold, hard floor hold any joy? Especially when you are sitting on it, in the dark and it happens to be a cold, dark, bathroom floor. It doesn't seem to be a setting for inspiring joy. But that is just what happened to me today. It was a place of unexpected joy because I was sitting cross-legged on the floor with a small daughter on either side of me and a flashlight in the middle. The flashlight was our "campfire" and we sang and roasted marshmallows and hotdogs.
I'm ashamed to say that I'm not too good at pretending. I will colour, do crafts, cook, go for walks and read and read and read with the children, but when it comes to pretending I usually find other things to do. I probably would have let this opportunity to pretend slip by too if it had not been for the way the request was put to me.
I was busy cleaning a build up of mildew from an old, disgusting window casing when my four year-old daughter asked me, in these exact words, "Mommy would you like to enjoy us?" Her words caught me off guard. Of course she meant, "Would you like to join us?", to which I'm sure I would have replied something about how necessary it was for me to clean up this disgusting window casing. But to be asked if I would like to "enjoy" my daughters, that is something entirely different. How could I say "no"? How could I possibly let a dirty window casing win out over enjoying my two small daughters?
It was, and is, food for thought.
In any case, that is how I ended up sitting in the dark on a cold, hard, bathroom floor. It doesn't seem like the best location to play, except when you realize that it is the darkest corner in our house on a sunny day. So there we sat and what a fun time it was. I ate one hotdog and two marshmallows. We sang many songs, some with actions. We slept all night and we heard things like frogs, ducks, crickets, a bear, a dog and mosquitoes. In fact, the mosquitoes were so bad that my daughter ran to fetch me a bug jacket which she had just bought and she hoped it would fit. It fit perfectly and worked like a charm.
Will I join in the pretend play every time I'm invited? No. I'm sure I won't. I am the mother here and there are things that require doing. Things like supper, laundry and cleaning. All the millions of things that mothers do and there doesn't seem to be a lot of spare time from these activities. But I hope that I will remember to hear the request differently from now on. When asked to join in, I hope that I will hear, ‘Mommy, would you like to enjoy us?', because if I do, I can imagine that I will be able to find a few minutes here and there to play for while. Surely some things are not necessary or don't need to be done immediately. Surely I can find time in my day to enjoy my children.