Sunday, July 1, 2012

Clap, clap, clap

Children are God's ever replenishing reminders to adults--reminders of what is important. My niece Ana is one of the brightest little memorandums in my life. Last I saw her was when I flew home for her first birthday, 3 months ago. Since then, I heard phone tales of her first steps and her first words and her transition from baby to little girl. I heard about what a happy child she was. And when Ana and her parents came down to visit me last week, I witnessed that all they told me was true. The child smiled nearly incessantly. From her waking moment of bouncing and laughing in her playpen, every little thing made her happy. Pick her up, she clapped her hands, grinning toothily. Set her down, same routine. Walk down the street and see a dog--party on. Put her in front of a mirror--clap clap, clap. Every little thing called for celebration. So often I find myself not looking forward to tomorrow. I hate Wednesdays because they're hump day. I hate Mondays because they aren't Saturday. I hate Sunday because Monday is the next day. I hate Thursdays because they aren't Friday. In simpler terms, I dread life most days. Celebration is out of the question. One of my favorite new movies is Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium. Quirky, simple, elegant--the movie reminds me of all the important little things that only one who has mastered the art of living would know. My favorite line comes right before Mr. Magorium dies when he tells his faithful worker Mahoney, "Your life is an occasion--rise to it." Life is an occasion that we're all invited to. And we've got so much to celebrate, starting with this day, this moment. On days when I'd rather cry than be brave and laugh and on the days when I don't even want to crawl out of bed, much less clap my hands, I hope to remember my little niece, with her open-mouthed grin, watching for reasons to slap her chunky hands together--clap, clap, clap.

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