Wednesday, August 3, 2011

....constant joy.....

.....we had some good adventure this past weekend.....a spontaneous day trip with friends to the petting zoo on Friday had us exploring Manhattan for 8 hours.....happy hour rolled around on Friday late afternoon and I was so spent I couldn't even talk when Stefan came home from work.....it was the good kind of tired when my bones hurt from the pushing, lifting, strapping, squatting and the scooping a Momma does when she and 4 children run free in Manhattan......pretty sure I woke up for my first night feeding with Brody in a puddle of drool......

.....I recovered and we jaunted out to CT for an overnight stay, had some outdoor fun, made s'mores for the first time and came home to a rooftop ice cream party with friends moving out of the city.......I had a lot of pictures to sort through when the weekend came to a close.....and it's usually during this time of browsing that I am inspired with thoughts that I want to capture on this blog.....when I flip through the pictures the emotion and reflection inspire me to string my words together......usually it happens very easily for me, as writing has always been a passion of mine.....other times, I am at a loss for words, thoughts or ideas.....but this particular set of pictures only brought one thing to the forefront of my mind.....all I could think of as I studied each photograph that was taken was, wow.... my children are so incredibly happy......







....and that got me thinking about happiness.....

....I hear so many Mommas say that they want their children to be happy.....I read articles about how to encourage happiness in your child.....there are books galore on how to have a happy home......and who doesn't want that for their babes?.....we all want the best for our children......we want to hear them laugh, shield them from pain, see their vibrance as they embrace new experiences....







.....but I also know there will be times when their unhappiness is incurable....there will be situations that even as their Momma, I will not be able to console them from pain or suffering......

                                                   feeding the goats is going great....they even lick the bowl!......
                                                                                    ugh oh.....he licked it a little too hard........
                                                                                 and now the bowl is gone.....

                            Momma, the llama spit all over my cheek and hand......mean old llama!........

.....so when I flipped through the pictures admiring the smiles and silliness of their adventures, I had a secondary thought......is happiness what I really want for my children?......I sorted through more pictures....analyzing their faces, remembering what was going on in the background during the moment the shutter clicked.....trying to comprehend their excitement, their wonder, their zeal at the tiniest things.....




                                                   hold your penny in the air, toss it in the fountain and make a wish.....
                                wish granted!......ice cream.....


....and I moved into deeper thought about the pursuit of happiness......there are many people on this earth that think happiness will be achieved if they acquire something they don't have right now......but no matter how much they gain along their journey, many of them are still so empty in their quest for what they think will bring them happiness.....

....and although my children are too young to grasp this concept, it's not too early for me to mold their mindset.....I can encourage them to be joyful, rather than happy......because a joyful person is one that makes a choice to find contentment in all aspects of life, no matter if their happiness barometer is high or low.....eventually, the trips to the zoo and the playgrounds in our neighborhood will become boring.....the zeal and excitement will grow dull in the repetition of events that are no longer new anymore.....but if they can find joy in the ordinary things, then happiness, in it's ebb and flow, will be a byproduct.....








.....with a joyful heart, they can relish in the happy times that are triggered by their surroundings.....and when happiness fades, as it is always temporary; they will still experience the peacefulness that results in making the conscious choice to be joyful.....

.....so if they can acquire the knowledge of differentiating happiness versus joy in their young wonder, they will be better equipped for many of the curveballs and uphill treks that are certainly in store for their great big lives ahead.....because life will certainly hold bigger challenges for them than tolerating the same zoo or park.....it will become more complicated than the colorful world they live right now..... 



....and it's the realization of the responsibility I have to mold my children that fuels me.....they encourage me to live my life more joyfully because no matter what I teach them, it will mean nothing unless I live by example....

.....so by the time I had selected the pictures I wanted to share on this blog post and had thought through the emotions that surfaced as I stared at their picturesque faces, I had answered my initial question.....I don't want happiness for my children......it recedes as we chase it......it's an emotion that adjusts.....joy, however, is constant; not temporary......joy is steadfast and full of hope.....and that is what I want for my children......




7 comments :

True Identity said...

This is a very beautiful post. And so true, living a joyful life every day, finding the little things that makes us smile in everyday things. Your children are very beautiful and the pictures are amazing. Many blessings to you and your loved ones.

Steph B. said...

Not only do they look incredibly happy, but they are incredibly cute and beautiful! :) They look like they love each so much too. :)

-Steph
The Random Mommy Blog PS: Now following you. :)

Arizona Girls said...

Aww what a great post and such cuties! =) I miss when mine was that little.

Mine is now a teen and she still loves going to the zoo and things =)

We always want the best for our children so we help them while they are little to learn things hopefully!

Such great smiles! =) Stopped by from voiceBoks Members to remember =)

Arizona Girls blog

Spilled Milkshake said...

Your children look very happy and very joyful! And they are all just beautiful.

Your post is very inspiring and thought-provoking. I really am thinking over the difference between happiness and joy, because I don't think I've ever considered it before. But you are right...happiness is fleeting and we always think we will be happy when we get that...one ...more... thing. Being joyful is so much better.

Thank you for giving me so much to think about!

Stopping by from voiceBoks Members to Remember!

Christina
Spilled Milkshake

Miniveg said...

Adorable pictures!! What a great post, thank you. Stopping by from voiceBoks members to remember.

Tandi
The Peaceful Kitchen

Sarah the Writer said...

Love this post! To be honest, I had never really thought about the difference between being happy and being joyful. You explained it very well.

I also adore the pictures! Your kids all look very content (even when annoying other siblings with hugs :P). I especially like the ones of the two princesses, the ballerina, and Batman (the dynamic of the girlie-girls vs. the little boy is funny in a sweet way) and of the two girls holding hands while crossing the street. So sweet!

Stopping by from voiceBoks!
~Sarah the Writer

Becky Jane said...

It is so delightful to watch kids and animals interact with eachother!
Visiting from voiceBoks
Thanks, Becky Jane
http://riseaboveyourlimits.blogspot.com/