October 20, 2012

IN HOT PURSUIT OF JOY

Life is hard. We all know that. Hell, I've spent most of my career letting people know that it's okay to find life hard.

Relationships are hard. Parenthood is hard. Loss is hard. Just being alive is hard.

But life is absolutely full of joy, too, and we have to remember to seek out and grab those joyful moments whenever we can.

Today, my kids and I chased an ice cream truck. Oh yes we did. We were driving home after a morning outing, and none of us were in particularly good moods. My son had homework to do, I had a pile of laundry to deal with, and my girls were tired after a late night.

And then, as we took the winding road down the hill to our street, we saw it.

"An ice cream truck!" shouted my daughter.

"Ice cream! Ice cream!" shouted the four year old.

"Let's follow it!" shouted my son.

My instinctive response was to say no. We had to get home. We had work to do. And besides, it's dangerous to chase another vehicle - even if it is dispensing iced confection.

But the kids were so excited, and I suddenly thought, why the hell not? This is one of those moments. Grab it, enjoy, and be joyful.

And so I followed that truck. It wasn't easy, because I wasn't prepared to break the speed limit*, and we almost lost the truck, twice. But I hung in there, the kids screaming with delight as we changed lanes, turned corners, and kept it in our sights.

In hot pursuit of a cold  iced treat
The truck took a highly circuitous route, keeping us all on our toes, and ended up at the beach. As it came to a halt we all cheered, triumphant, the actual ice cream less important than the thrill of the chase.

The kids jumped out of the car and ran to the van, returning with giant sprinkle cones with Flake. It wasn't even lunchtime and the cones were bigger than their heads, but I didn't bat an eyelash.

This morning was joy. Pure joy. I didn't care about the inappropriateness of eating ice cream before lunch. I didn't care about the melted ice cream dripping in my car. I didn't care about the Flakes smearing all over three tee shirts. And I didn't care about the exorbitant cost of soft serve cones. It was joy. Pure joy. And we will all remember it.

It was the day we chased the ice cream truck.

TRIUMPH

Seek some joy for yourself. TODAY.

*because I have no points left on my license am a very safe driver

41 comments:

  1. That's a fully sick mural on the back of the van.

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  2. I love this so much. Spontaneity, excitement, pure unadulterated joy. Well done Kerri for seizing the moment right then and there. Far too often we get caught up in the shoulds, and things that we put misplaced importance on. Going to go hunting for an ice cream truck to pursue ;)

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  3. This is my favourite blog post of the day. I love these moments. Good on you for creating one! x

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  4. YES. We get caught up in the 'shoulds'. SO TRUE. xxx

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  5. Wonderful! *unspontaneously plans to chase an ice cream truck in near future...*

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  6. Love this! Yes, children do teach us

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  7. I love this post ! Day your children will talk about and remember for a long time.

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  8. Oh Kerri what a delightful message you remind us of while you teach your children; stopping to throw caution to the wind is so vital to our happiness. As is stalking and the consumption of stimulants.

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  9. I know. And that's the best part of it xx

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  10. The saying of NO for all the practical reasons is the USUAL response. Saying YES for the fun reasons makes such a WONDERFUL memory for you & the kids!
    A story to share forever!!
    Xxx

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  11. Love it! Your kids will remember that moment of joy for everything that it was - fun, exciting and just a little bit crazy. The world needs more of it xx

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  12. Fabulous! I bet there was no more grumpiness for quite a while after that and plenty of 'awesome mum' thoughts. I had an icecream truck that lives two doors down from me who happily gives out any leftovers when they arrive home AND there is also a rogue icecream truck that does our neighbourhood occasionally with its greensleeves tune calling me. This all sounds wonderful, however, I am not allowed to eat it :( :(

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  13. Awesome days indeed! The joy-filled ones I mean. There's nothing like spur-of-the-moment-fun to lift everyone's spirits and bring smiles. The icecream looks yum!

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  14. Oh no!!! No ice cream? That is just NOT FAIR x

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  15. The ice cream was sweet and sticky and GOOD x

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  16. What great fun that must have been...it certainly does sound like pure joy! I've not seen an ice cream truck in years! There are none up here on the mountain where I live! It's the simple pleasures that really do bring much happiness, it's true...and this one caused everyone's mood to do an about turn! :)

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  17. I have been doing lots of landscaping work in my backyard recently and I heard the welcome sounds of the ice-cream truck roving the streets on Thursday... I briefly considered chasing it when it didn't come by, but your story made for infinitely more entertaining reading than mine would've!

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  18. What a wonderful thing you did. Bet they were the best ice creams. Hope that the rest of your day was wonderful too.

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  19. That is simply great!!!
    On occasion we have "Eat what you want dinners" and we love it - so it can be anything, ice-cream, fairy bread and we picnic on the rug in front of the TV...JOY!

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  20. Loved this post. Really en-joy-ed it.

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  21. What a great story. Thats they type of parent I hope to be someday :) xx

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  22. Really does - I think we were all on a high the rest of the day!

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  23. Chase it next time, Ian. CHASE IT!!!

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  24. It was pretty damn good. Thanks love x

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  25. I'm not like that all the time! But I am really trying to be that parent more often. It's what it's ALL about x

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  26. Oh... I don't know about 'doin' it for the kids'?!? I saw that episode of Puberty Blues recently where the ice cream van driver was selling drugs out of his van! I bet you were hoping for more than a soft top with hundreds & thousands.... ;-)

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  27. This is what life's all about - our joy x

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  28. Lisa @ Bithe MomentsOctober 22, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    Last summer we were in a park and a friend was recounting how she chased down an icecream truck on foot just the day before. We were considering this improbable as she isn't really a runner when we hear the music. Her ears pricked up and she was off like a shot. Turns out that girl is a world class sprinter if there is icecream at the end of the journey.
    Oh what I would give for some potentially bacteria filled soft serve from a truck right now!

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  29. Oh! That is HILARIOUS!
    But... but... there's no bacteria in soft serve! Is there? IS THERE???

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  30. Kerri, this made me really think about how we try to manufacture those 'moments' with our kids and often the best (and certainly funniest) moments are captured with no plan in mind.

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