I have a memory of riding in the car with my family as a teenager. One of the younger kids was telling my parents the oldest joke in the book. Repeatedly.
“Hey Mom! What are you eating under there?” Mom would fall for it every time, replying with “Under where?” Get it? Underwear?
The child would crack up! Gut wrenching laughter until she could catch her breath, and then tell it all over again. And I remember my parents busting up laughing, too. Over and over and over. I’m sure I rolled my eyes as I thought “I can’t believe that joke is still funny to them.”
Of course I realize now that the joke never was really funny. Even when I told it as a 4 year old. My parents were laughing because they were enjoying watching one of their kids find so much joy in that joke.
I can totally relate to that now. Nowadays, I find that my very greatest and deepest joys come from helping those I love to be happy. Sometimes I find instant satisfaction, like being able to take them on a fun trip, and watching their eyes light up. Sometimes it’s a more slow-simmering contentment, like knowing that the meals I make are teaching them good habits and encouraging long-term health.
On a daily basis, I find joy in helping my loved ones to accomplish the things that are important to them. The things that matter to them, matter to me. It’s my way of letting them know that they are important.
Here is a list of things that have been honestly important to me lately, because they are important to someone I love:
-Blueberries. Eli eats them faster than I can stock them!
-Spiderman costumes and climbing trees
-“Organizing” a dresser (7 year old standards are very different than mine!)
-finding parkour lessons
-redecorating a bedroom
-outfits and hairdos
-de-cluttering and minimizing
I often feel overwhelmed with the constant questions and requests for help that come with having 7 kids. But when I step back and think about it, being needed is what makes my life feel full and worthwhile. My life is filled to the brim with important things!