Years ago I read an article about a young mom going through a horrific divorce.  To mentally combat the abuse she suffered, her therapist recommended she focus on what made her happy as a child.

As children, we are blessed with innocence and freedom. As a Southern girl, a day of raking pine straw from the tall trees that stood as pillars in our vast front yard, could easily turn from chore to play.  That same pine straw allowed my sisters and I to become birds with personalities all our own, intent on building the finest nest in all of Georgia.

As a mom, do I let the same creative joy envelop me? I can say for a fact that the last time I mowed the lawn, washed the dishes, or did the laundry, those actions felt like chores—necessary, but still something to trudge through.  Yet, I often reflect on that once-familiar article, not because I’m going through a divorce (I’m not), but because sometimes I look at my children and yearn for the joy that envelops them.

My remedy came one day during a familiar mom task . . . waiting. Between preschool carpool and speech therapy, I found myself waiting in a parked car on a sunny day for ten minutes to pass so I could trade one waiting area for another.  I opened the car door and helped my son out. The green grassy field ahead of us was too inviting for him to pass up. His little feet hit the pavement and ran, desperate to feel like Frauline Maria in an open field, without ever knowing The Sound of Music himself. Seeing him exuberant flipped a switch in me.

My parental boredom gave way to an opportunity long forgotten. Several long branches lay at the base of a nearby shady tree.  “Wanna sword fight?” I proposed with a smirk to my eager son. As we swung branches around like Jack Sparrow, I realized the joy was there. It had always been there. And I was ready to reclaim it.