Give Joy To Get Joy
Can someone explain to me why skateboards don’t have brakes? I’ve always tried to be a student of my children. When they’re interested in something, I become interested in that something. Over the years I’ve learned more than I ever wanted about Pokémon, Japanese dogs, rock climbing, and all sorts of random things. Recently, my youngest son, Jax, has decided he wants to be a professional skateboarder. My son looks at a skateboard and gets excited about all the new things he can learn. I, on the other hand, look at that piece of wood placed on top of those four tiny wheels and ask, “Where are the brakes?”
I had hoped his interest in the skateboard would pass after a few falls, but it just seemed to increase. Reluctantly, I gave in and did what I always try to do—I joined him. As I grabbed the longboard from the garage, I saw his eyes light up from across the street. He yelled out, “I’ve been waiting for this moment!” I could literally see the joy on his face from across the street, but he did not seem to notice the fear on mine. I mumbled a quick prayer as I stepped onto this board of death and was surprised at how easy it seemed.
I should have stopped there. I didn’t stop there. He asked me if I wanted to walk to the neighborhood next to us because they had faster sidewalks! Why on earth would I agree to experience “faster sidewalks” on a contraption with no brakes? Longboard story short, he hopped on his board and took off down the slight incline and yelled, “If you start going too fast, just bail!”
This is probably a great time to tell you, if you’re over thirty-five and you’re doing any activity that causes you to “bail,” I would suggest not doing said activity! I pushed off and repeated my earlier prayer as the small wheels increased in speed. This is the moment I discovered what skateboarders call the “death wobble.” So, I bailed.
I wasn’t sure what bailing was supposed to look like, but I decided to jump toward the grass. That seemed safe. My safe plan turned into me sliding across the muddy grass like a baseball player sliding face first into third base. I looked up to see Jax running toward me yelling, “That was so awesome, Mom!” My favorite jeans are still stained with red mud, my ankle is still bruised, and my ego may never recover. But I will never forget the look on his face the next day when he jumped in my car after school and said with the biggest smile, “I told all of my friends about our skateboarding adventure!”
Of all the things I learned that day, the most important one was this idea that I get joy when I give joy. I’ll never forget the cheek-to-cheek smile on that boy's face as I slowly emerged from the muddy grass. If you’re struggling to find joy today, give this a try. Not skateboarding! Do not give skateboarding a try! Do something with your child that brings them joy, and pay attention to the contagious spread of joy.
I often can’t control the way I feel, but I’ve found it to be pretty easy to bring a little joy into my boys’ lives. It took a wild ride for me to realize I’m giving myself joy as well. Here’s to learning new things, trying new things, and going on wild rides all for the sake of joy.
So momma, take an hour today and give a little joy. I am sure that hour could be the catalyst for bringing more joy into your home!