Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Joy Within Limits

I was scheduled to be on a conference call this morning at 6 am. Mary Jane woke up at 5:30 after having a bad dream. Theoretically, Mary Jane sleeps until about 7 am and so a 6 to 7 am conference call would be just fine. Hearing her scream for me from downstairs was a lifeshock and my immediate response was, "No, I have a conference call and I don't want to have to entertain a 3 1/2 year old while also participating on the call!"

So rather than collecting my thoughts, and myself, from 5:30 to 6 I sat on the couch and talked with Mary Jane about her scary dream. As a side note, given the space and attention, a young child can tell you a great deal about her dreams...and this one sounded pretty spooky to me! A few minutes before the call was to begin I asked Mary Jane to pick out the paper or coloring book she wanted to color on. She picked a coloring book...Hello Kitty, of course.

So there we sat, six o'clock in the morning at the dining room table. I had my computer in front of me and Mary Jane on my lap. She had her coloring book in front of her with her crayons at the ready. And there we sat for the next 50 minutes - until the end of the call! As a 3 1/2 year old Mary Jane needed to sit still and quiet for 50 minutes (or more accurately, I wanted her to) AND SHE DID IT! This experience could have been restrictive for her, it could have been horrible and long and and and… Instead Mary Jane created some beautifully colored pictures. And she did so with much pride and joy!

This morning Mary Jane taught me, again, that it is entirely possible to find joy within limits. Imagine what life would be like if I chose to find the joy within the limits of my life! The possibilities are amazing - and freeing!

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