Today as I was riding the bus with the kids I struck up a conversation with an older gentleman sitting next to me. It was a gorgeous March day, full of the smell of blossoms and the tentative warmth of the newly emerging spring sunshine.
“So did you order the weather?” I asked.
After a few pleasantries about the beautiful day, how spoiled we are on the west coast, and what an amazingly diverse city we live in, he turned and smiled at the kids. One in the stroller, more on seats, one in the snuggly on my chest.
“You’ve got your hands full.”
“Yes, I admit I do!” I laughed, having heard this phrase countless times before.
But then the elderly gentleman surprised me. He followed this banal, overused cliché with one of the nicest things anyone has said to me about parenting.
“But every day is a joy,” he said in the voice of one who remembers.
“It’s so true. They say so many funny things, and are always making tons of cute pictures just for me, and are all amazing.”
I can’t express how much his comment made my day. How that simple phrase affirmed that life is beautiful and worth living. How it pointed out that there is joy in giving, joy in loving, joy in sharing life in a family.
How despite things sometimes being a crazy zoo, full of shrieks and laughter and chaos, running over with spilled juice and bath water, and littered with stickers and Cheerios that stick to my socks (try that for fun!), life in a big family is a beautiful thing, and each day is a joy.