"Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."

Monday, May 17, 2010

Tegan's Zebra

Every night before she goes to sleep, Tegan and I have a conversation that goes something like this:

Me: Goodnight baby. I love you.
T: Yuv you too!
Me: Did you have a good day today?
T: Mm Hmm
Me: What was your favorite part?
T: The animals

Sometimes she specifies animals (a cow is one she mentions a lot, and giraffes and zebras are popular too), whether she has actually seen them that day or not. But her standard answer is always a happy and sleepy "animals." She loves animals, and going to the zoo is one of her all-time favorite things to do. Even when she's been home all day, and the only animal she has seen has been our dog, animals are still the best part of every day. It's as if just knowing that they exist makes her happy.

This past weekend we spent most of the day on Saturday out in the desert... off-roading, geocaching, and picnicking beside a lazy river. On Sunday, we were invited over to our friends' house, and we enjoyed a leisurely dip in their pool, jumped on their trampoline, and enjoyed good food and several hours of conversation and play. It was a lovely weekend, and a fun weekend, and still when Tegan was snuggled up to me, all cozy in her pajamas, her answer was steadfast.

The animals. The zebra. The cow.

I love that she loves animals that much, and I love that they are a bright spot in her day - every day! - whether she has seen any or not. I love that she goes to sleep happy every night, thinking about her animals. I love that no matter what's going on around her, she still has that joy, that wonder, that excitement. Who couldn't stand to take that cue from a two-year old?

I have been stressed out lately. Not stressed really, more like frustrated (and a little sad if I'm being honest) about a situation that I have absolutely no control over. None. I can't control other people being, well, thoughtless and stupid, but I can control my reaction. I can be more like my girl, and I can celebrate animals - or chocolate or flowers or sunshine or any of the other wonderfully simple pleasures in life. I can think about those things even on the not-so-good days, and just forget about the rest.

Today was a Monday. My favorite part was the elephants.


Alice said...

Jen -- I could have written that blog post (except I don't have a Tegan :). I have been struggling with the same feelings, and been trying to take my emotional cues from Max. What's not to love about a one year old who wakes up at 2 am, and is so happy about the ceiling fan, and being snuggled in bed with his mama, and life in general, that he starts laughing and clapping? This morning, tired as I am, I'm determined to find joy in little things. So far, my favorite part of today has been the clapping.

Erika Seirup said...

What a great reminder, to take our cues from the little ones. They are so simple and happy. And they've got the right idea!

So sweet, too, about Tegan's animals :)


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