Stopping to Smell the Roses

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I think most of you know by now that I count Jessica as one of my dearest (and oldest– in terms of relationship, NOT her age) bloggy friends. Both stinky cheese-loving Francophiles, we’ve teased that we’re long lost twins. And I’ve been blessed to have her strength to lean on when things get tough in my life. Remember, she’s the one who quietly reminded me, “He’s got this.”


Well, for the month of October, Jessica is following along with that whole “blog every day on a certain topic” thing that’s going on. I, personally, seem to be too fickle to commit to that sort of project. ;) But her choice of topics has resonated with me big time: 31 Days of Smelling the Roses.


At the risk of making a very bad pun here, I must say that the entire topic has planted seeds in my heart and become to bloom. The idea of stopping– breathing– enjoying– sharing– with my children has become woven throughout my days. I’ve given myself permission to say “yes” when I can and to ease up on the pace of life.


It’s felt wonderful.


Yesterday, I had to go to Walmart to pick up a birthday gift for one of A’s friends. My youngest was, of course, my shopping companion and, as a three-year-old girl, was not exactly captivated by all the eight-year-old boy toys I was examining. Still, she happily went along and didn’t fuss a bit.


On our way up to the registers, we passed the food aisles. A little shelf with Jell-O on it caught her eye. She said nothing, but I saw it. I wanted to pay for the Lego game and get out of dodge before the crowds descended. Instead, I asked her,


“Would you like to pick out a box of Jell-O? You can help me make it and you and your sibs can have it with supper?”


You would have thought I’d given her a blank check.


We stood– for more than five minutes– as she gnawed on her lower lip and perused her choices. They didn’t have purple, so her favorite color was off the table. But she thought, carefully, about her options.


I spent seventy cents on a box of lemon Jell-O.


I was rewarded with her happy skipping gait up to the register. With her joyful pulling-over-a-chair-to-help as we prepared it. And with three smiles like this at supper:

That is one AWESOME return on investment.

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