This week’s Sunday School lesson was on happiness. We talked about a lot of things, but one piece of the happiness puzzle seems to be contentment – making the most of your circumstances.
I think I see that in my oldest kid. On Friday she was headed home for spring break. That afternoon we were driving to Fayetteville, NC, to see my parents. I’m sure my daughter might rather spend this time with friends in Cancun sipping boat drinks at the swim up bar. But she had to make a choice, and a summer trip to Africa won. Her father does not pay for these extravagances, and her bank account is only so deep.
I got a text at 9:38 AM.
I’m at the airport. I haven’t driven in months. Let’s take my car to Fayetteville. It’ll be fun!
I knew what that meant. Her grandfather handed down his Mini Cooper to DJ last May. It is the size of a large bathtub. It is tight for two people. But four?
We packed light and all climbed in. Our playlist from Spotify was pumping out of the speakers and the convertible top was down.
By the time we hit Garner, ten minutes outside Raleigh, I felt as if I had been visited by Hurricane Hazel. My cerebral cortex had dried out from the pounding wind whipping through the orifices in my head. And yet, we laughed, smiled and sang our way to the big metropolis we fondly call Fayettenam.
As we sat around grandpa’s den, DJ began taking family videos. Like her father, she finds humor in the mundane.
The more she encouraged, the stupider we acted.
On Sunday, we went to church. I taught a class and at 11 met the girls to head to the sanctuary.
“Dad, I have an idea,” DJ shared.
Here is comes, I thought to myself.
“What if we skipped church,”
Coulda called that one
“Grab some coffee,”
Now you’re talking
“And go ride the Carousel at Pullen Park.”
Not surprisingly, the sisters approved.
“Why would we do that?” I asked.
“Why wouldn’t we?” she questioned.
So off we went, church clothes and all, to ride a gyrating meerkat.
At school in DC, she does the same thing.
Camp Seafarer in the summer? She’s cookin’ stuff up!
She doesn’t find happiness, she makes it. She takes her circumstance, whatever it may be, and turns it into something good. An afternoon in Fayetteville, NC, with a goofy 50-year-old father and a granddad who just had bypass surgery? Not a downer; an opportunity. A chance to to embarrass your dad on Instagram.
She got the optimism and daring of her mother paired with the silliness of her dad. Amazing when tossed together.