My children and I were visiting friends the other night, for a short play date squeezed in between naps and dinner. As we were getting ready to leave, our conversation turned to camping (which we had recently done) and my daughter chimed in about making s’mores. Pretty soon, both kids were asking excitedly if we could roast marshmallows together.
“I have work tomorrow” my friend told her son. “S’mores are for camping!” I told my daughter. It’s bath night/time to go home/not something we planned… we had a range of excuses, but looking at their bright and hopeful faces, we looked at each other, shrugged and grinned. Our evening turned into a s’mores-making party around their fire pit, culminating in our children donning fireman coats and putting out the “campfire” with the garden hose.
We weren’t home too late, and everyone got a bath and went to bed at a decent hour – but we had a great time before we did. So often we, parents or not, say “no” to any type of celebration, any unscheduled thing that seems out a place in the course of our regularly scheduled day. We say “It’s a school night” or “It’s a work day”, as if joy and celebration can only occur at scheduled, specific times. And while people and families have schedules and rules for good reasons, it’s not a good thing to forget that every day and night we have in this life are reasons to celebrate.
Reasons To Celebrate
I am trying to show this to my children, that we don’t need other reasons to celebrate life and the people we love – having life and love are reasons enough. Of course, we have naptimes and bedtimes and errands to run, but we do silly things as well, spontaneous kinds of fun to brighten up our days and the days of the people we love.
When we knew my sister was having a long, hard day at work, we arrived unannounced (this was the kind of job where we could, mind you), singing an un-birthday song, wearing party hats and waving banners. She might have thought we were a little nuts, but she sure got a kick out of it.
When my husband’s half-birthday rolled around, we made homemade cards, baked a cake and put together a mix of his favorite songs to play during dinner. It doesn’t have to be extravagant to feel like a party, especially when it’s a surprise!
Celebrate Any Occasion
There are many small and easy ways to celebrate. Did you wake up this morning? That’s something to celebrate! Turn up your favorite tunes and cook a big breakfast, even if it’s not the weekend. Have someone you care about in your life? Write them a love letter and send it through the mail. Build a fort with your kids and eat cupcakes in it, because you have kids who can eat cupcakes with you.
Bring treats in for your coworkers for no reason other than to see them smile and enjoy. Celebrate a healthy body by taking a long bath, stretching luxuriously, going for a walk or turning cartwheels. Bring flowers, not because it’s someone’s birthday, but because they’re simply too beautiful not to share.
Sing, to celebrate your voice. Read a book, solve a puzzle, or write a poem to celebrate your mind.
Remember that you, not your calendar or your clock or your planner, are in charge of making your life, and a life is a beautiful thing to celebrate.