Happy Monday! I hope you’ve all had a good weekend. I just used Random.org to pick a winner for the Tightwad Gazette give-away, and Lara is the lucky one (comment number 6). Congratulations Lara! I’ve emailed you to get your address, and I’ll get your book in the mail to you right away.
I wanted to share a little conversation I had with our son one day last week, just as a reminder that ordinary days can be fantastic… it’s all a matter of perspective. My parents had stopped by briefly in the morning, and my husband’s parents were arriving for a two-day visit later in the evening. We were on our way to the library, him on his bike and me running along beside him with our younger son in the stroller. This is roughly what he said:
“This is the most amazing day ever! I got to see my grandma and grandpa, and then we got to have an amazing lunch (I think it was salad with homemade popsicles for dessert), and now we’re on an awesome bike ride and we get to go to the library. Then I get to see my other grandma and grandpa, and we’re going to have french fry nachos for dinner. Wow, what an amazing day!”
He used the words awesome and amazing several times in his description, and the things that were so great for him were simple pleasures: seeing his grandparents, eating home-cooked food, going for a bike ride, and going to the library. We see my parents usually about once a month, sometimes a little more often. And we see my husband’s parents several times each year, for multi-day visits each time since they live farther away. Our sons get to talk to both sets of grandparents on the phone quite frequently. We go for bike rides most days – probably five times a week. And we go to the library at least once each week. I make home-cooked meals every day, and homemade popsicles are a frequent treat around here. The things that stood our for our son in terms of the day being so awesome were simple pleasures, and relatively routine things. We didn’t have to do anything special or go out of our way to make the day awesome. It was awesome just the way it was. It was made a little more awesome by the fact that both sets of grandparents were here on the same day, but between family and close friends, we have visitors who are special to our sons several times each month. You probably do too, although you might not be aware of how special those visits are for your kids, especially if it’s a routine thing for you.
I wanted to share this as a reminder to cherish the little things in life. Simple pleasures can make a day amazing. You don’t have to go all-out on something huge to make a day excellent for kids. And the same is true for adults, although sometimes we need a reminder to see things the way children do. I hope you’ve all had an amazing day. Reflect on the small things and be grateful for them. Every day is special, we just need to remember to notice it.
And since we’re on the topic of making ordinary days awesome (for you, as well as for your kids), I wanted to share The Orange Rhino Challenge site with you. One mom’s heartfelt journey through parenting four little boys without yelling. She used to be a yeller, and now she isn’t. It’s pretty awesome, so check it out if you have time.
And one more, this time from a money-blog perspective: Mr. Money Mustache responds to the people who nit-pick the details and/or dislike mathematical logic applied to money (and presumably then say that the whole live-on-a-lot-less-than-you-earn idea is bunk), in a pretty awesome post.