I spend A LOT of time in my car taking my kids from one place to another. My kids like to spend this time watching movies as we drive in endless loops around town. I then get to listen, because as the driver I can’t watch, many Disney movies over and over. At times I wish we could just listen to the radio but sometimes there are lessons for me in theses movies as well, that when just listening seem to come with a different picture in my head.
Just the other day Disney’s Incredibles was on. This is one of my favorites! As the movie is coming to an end there is a scene where the whole family is in a limo after they have just defeated a robot that was destroying their city. Dash (the little boy) is enthusiastically recalling the events that have just gone down with family. He is in awe of what he just saw his mom and dad do with their superpowers and even more what he was capable of doing when he was put in a “save the world” situation. Mr. Incredible (Dad) is soaking up the moments with him recalling just how awesome the adventure was. Towards the end of this Dash throws himself on the limo seats declaring this to be the best day ever in pure satisfaction and bliss and stating “I love this family!” Meanwhile Mrs. Incredible (Mom) is on the limo phone listening to messages left by the babysitter who is watching their baby and trying to shush the kids so she can hear better. She is so worried about making sure all is well with the baby and trying to clean up the mess chaos has caused her family, that she completely misses the fact that the rest of her family has just had the most amazing event happen together as a family!?! Don’t get me wrong, she was doing important work making sure ALL her family was counted for and well, but do you see what she is missing? The joy.
I often feel like we mom’s are so “busy” with making sure that all the T’s are crossed and I’s are dotted that we miss the joy of getting to be mom’s! I spent months plotting and planning a trip to Disney a few years ago trying to make sure this was the best adventure my kids could have. Creating “perfect” family moments for days on end. By the end of the trip they were on cloud nine and I was exhausted and ready for this adventure to end. Gearing up looking at calendars and checking my “messages” to get ready for the normal daily grind. My kids had been declaring BEST DAY EVER and I was missing it!!! I only got to truly enjoy this trip when I went back through and lived it again by pictures that I endlessly took to “capture the moment”.
When I got to do it again for Universal I think I did a much better job of focusing more on being in the moment and soaking up the joy and love as it happened on its own. Not worrying so much about the plan or making the moment happen. A schedule was not kept and the parks were wondered not planned out. The weather on this trip was not ideal or prepared for (30’s in Florida!?) but we endured and created memories together. We fell in love with warm butter beer and even ate ice cream despite the cold temperatures. How could we pass up eating at Florean Fortescues Ice Cream Parlour in Diagon Alley!?!
This goes for ordinary days as well. We get so lost in the busy planning and scheduling of life that the joy moments go un-noted. Incredible things happen everyday to each of us if we just keep a mind frame to “see” and “hear” them. All that time in the car can be used for conversation about each others days, sharing and basking in each others joys. When the whole family can’t be at the dinner table together focus on the ones who could be and make that time well spent together. And when chaos strikes, as it always will, band together and know that on the other side of this your family just may declare best day ever! Struggle, big or small, often brings our greatest strengths and greatest joys!
As we approach one of the busiest and for me most stressful times of year I challenge each of us to pause, and breathe in the moments of joy all around us.