Saturday, April 16, 2011

Frivolity: The sparkles of Life

I would certainly like to believe this is true:
There is always some frivolity in excellent minds; they have wings to rise, but also stray.


I like to consider myself a pretty deep person; I am entertained with  the existential questions of life and our purpose here; I notice human connections; I feel with depth and and try to be filled with compassion, and I strive for magnanimity over the surface and shallow.  I would like to believe I became a teacher for noble reasons, sacrificing prestige or profit. But, alas I have to admit at times I delight in the frivolous  and I am materialistic. (I tried to search a synonym for materialistic and did not like at all what I got: greedy, mundane, unspiritual, profane..... to name a few.)

So in the vein of my existential pondering thoughts, I wonder what is the role of frivolity in our lives, in the lives of my children?

Being frivolous sure is fun....

The Ice Cream Truck:
On the way home Friday, Anna Cate said, "today sure is a nice day. I bet the ice cream truck is out." So in celebration of the beginning of Spring Break we rolled down our window to listen for his music, we found him, flagged him down and spent a frivolous amount of $ on some sugar.  We came home to enjoy it:

 and let Molly try her very own popsicle.


Pre-Bedtime Dance Party:

We think we'll remember Molly's smile the most about her at this age. I think her eyes sparkle and her whole face lights up. I rarely catch on camera the smile in all its glory.

They fight for Daddy's attention.


New Floors:
Last week we (as in we paid someone else) pulled up our carpet and put wood floors throughout the house. We tried to match what we already had as best we could.


 So far, we LOVE IT!!! They are so easy to clean...they almost sparkle.  It was worth the months I lobbied BJ to convince him that wood is better than carpet. And speaking of letting material things make me happy, notice the bedside table and lamp in Anna Cate's room. I got that at a yard sale for $10, then got a brown lamp shade that BJ embellished with ribbons and a glue gun.  Call him Martha Stewart. We also enjoyed a trip to Target for new rugs, a great place for the frivolous.

Sparkly Toes:
I told Anna Cate I would paint her toe nails.

She proceeded to pick out 10 different colors, one for each toe, of course. After I finished, she said, you have to do a second coat to make sure they don't chip (a tip I'm sure she learned from Nana). I hemmed and hawed a bit, and when I opened the first bottle to start the round of second coats, she darted the most grateful look into my eyes and said, "you really love me, don't you?"

Then, she decided she needed a coat of sparkly on top.  Yes, Anna Cate I really do love you and I understand.....I like the sparkle on top of life, too.
 

An Easter party:
Our community center hosted an Easter Egg hunt inside that was fun for both girls. There was a cake decorating contest so Anna Cate and BJ baked the cake and made the icing last night and we decorated with a lot of sprinkles that sparkle.


 (You can get these printables free here. You print them and use a 2" circle punch, then glue them onto lollipop sticks.)

Our cake cracked a bit with the wind so we didn't win the decorating contest, but it was not the last one picked at the cake walk.

Maybe if you put too many sprinkles in your life, you'll start to crack? But I still enjoy the extras, like putting my girls in spring clothes with darling Easter bows that have been presents from my friend Cassie.


We saw the Easter Bunny, but Molly did not like the lap experience.
Molly prefers this bunny. So do I.


So in reflecting about bows and sparkles and a home with a facelift, I wish I could say I knew how to strike the right balance. Knowing that there are families without enough really makes me question how can I live with myself wanting more of the frivolous.  But, I do.  I don't have the answer; I don't know how to strike the perfect balance so I just go through thinking and reflecting and hopefully I'll have it figured out enough to pass down to my girls what is important.  In the midst of all the fluff of my life, I've experienced a story that is of life and death and what we do in between that matters.

A few years ago, I lost touch with a friend who was like a family member to me. She is wise and kind, funny and thoughtful.  Well, a friend of hers was diagnosed with terminal cancer in December and because my friend wanted to seek spiritual guidance for her friend, my friend called me to get in touch Patti.  I can't imagine she would have called me except that she knew I was in frequent contact with Patti because of her connection to the grandchildren of her best friend, my daughters.

(By the way, Patti takes Anna Cate every Thursday night to her home overnight and Molly stayed last week and slept fine, so I'm happy to report BJ and I will get a weekly date night.)

And in the last several weeks, we've picked up right where we left off and I've been so thankful; I've been saddened to hear of the plight of her friend's suffering and death. When the woman met with Patti, she spoke of this scripture meaning a lot to her:

“Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind Him and touched the edge of His cloak. She said to herself, ‘If I only touch His cloak, I will be healed.’ Jesus turned and saw her, ‘Take heart, daughter,’ He said, ‘your faith has healed you.’ And the woman was healed from that moment” (MAT 9:20-22).

In her infinite and spontaneous generosity, Patti then gave the woman her painting of this scene upon their first meeting.  
After I spoke at length to my friend about the funeral, I was reflecting upon how grateful I was to have her back in my life, but how sad it was that her friend lost hers so young to such a terrible disease. Then my friend called again to tell me that at the funeral next to pictures from her life was the very painting Patti had given her. A scene and a story that a dying woman clung to, and where we all should live.  Patti certainly lives there and it seems that drawing near to that cloak is what brought a sweet woman comfort and my friendship back into my life.

While I'm not sure exactly how much is too much emphasis to place on the material things, I know for certain that human connections are important, more significant than floors or sparkle.  Clinging to the cloak of what is real, of what it means to be human, to have faith and to the power in our kinship with each other can heal.  There we find our faith and the relevance of our shared experiences.

As I enter into Holy Week where I participate in traditions of which I probably don't fully accept their significance or meaning, I certainly find relevance and humanity in a story that can inspire. Maybe even I can be transformed like the words in that old hymn:


Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His Glory and Grace. -- Helen Lemmel

2 comments:

Whitney said...

Beautiful post Sarah. I feel like you set a wonderful example for your girls on the balance of life. The people you surround yourself with exemplify what truly matters most to you...spirituality! The rest is just icing, or sparkles, on the cake.

patsy said...

wonderful post...and we love those 'sparkles' ! looks like great easter fun :) your girls are such cuties!