Initially, the concept of celebrating ordinary days did not come natural to me. Celebrate the ordinary days? I just didn’t get it. Especially as a new mom, I primarily focused on milestones – the first smile, first tooth, first time my baby crawled, first steps, first birthday, etc. The ordinary days when the same stuff (like changing diapers, feeding and bathing duties) kept happening over and over again seemed pretty boring by comparison. Heck, as a newbie I was just trying to get through this ordinary stuff!
But then a friend introduced me to an author and a book that changed my perspective on how I live my daily life as a mom.
A wonderful woman in my church named Gail came to my house numerous times to help me when my second daughter was born. She saw the struggles I was going through; she gave me hugs and words of encouragement because she knew it would all get better. She was right, life eventually got easier as I learned to juggle and manage two small children.
One day she sent me a link to a woman reading an excerpt from a book called The Gift of an Ordinary Day.
The author, Katrina Kenison gets it – the best stuff in life is when you are with your family – not in Disneyworld (‘the happiest place on earth’) or some fabulous vacation – but when you are baking Toll House chocolate chip cookies with flour all over the floor and in your hair and you don’t care about the mess because your kids love it. It’s playing in the yard on a hot summer day with a lawn sprinkler and smiling when your kids squeal with delight as the cool water hits them. It’s taking nature walks around your neighborhood and wondering how seeing a chipmunk, squirrel or bunny rabbit can be so exciting. And laying in bed at night with your 4 year old tracing mystery letters on her back so she learns the ABC’s. It’s vegging out on the couch watching Max and Ruby with your 3 year old for seriously the 50th time. But it’s wonderful because you study her perfect face and long eyelashes and rosebud little lips. You hold her hand and squeeze her chubby fingers and touch the tip of her nose. You drink in all those adorable toddler features and wonder how her face is so utterly perfect and beautiful.
I can’t say it any better than Katrina Kenison herself. When she looked through
her numerous photo albums of holidays, birthday parties, school musical
performances, etc, she realized "... the memories I find myself sifting through the past to find are the ones I'd give anything now to relive, the ones no one ever thought to photograph. The ones that came and went as softly as a breeze on a summer afternoon....the most wonderful gift I had, the gift I finally learned to cherish above all else was the gift of all those perfectly ordinary days."
I feel so fortunate to know that some of my life’s best of times are happening to me right now. My life may not be perfect and it’s certainly not neat or clean but it’s one of the happiest times I’ve known.