Home > Family, Parenting, Reflections > soul-level sighs of satisfaction

soul-level sighs of satisfaction

Yesterday mid-morning, my three-year-old son and I went to meet up with some friends at a family event in Newport Beach. Littler J, who usually naps in the early afternoon, was so beat that he ended up falling asleep ten minutes into our drive.

By the time he’d finished napping, our friends were on their way home. The event was nevertheless a joy. It was full of small, sweet moments, individual and collective.

Individually, I especially enjoyed watching Littler eat his pizza. First, he strips off the cheese. After he’s eaten all the cheese, he plants his face directly in the center of the triangle and begins gnawing down. As if watching him savor a piece of pizza in this way weren’t adorable enough, this inefficiency leaves him with a greasy orange beard that makes me giggle.

In the petting zoo, he was keen on a small black pig, who never stopped rooting through the hay and leaves the entire time we watched. Littler was trepidatious about approaching at first, offering his hand and pulling it back repeatedly, but eventually began patting. He tried offering the pig some hay to eat; I explained that the pig was looking for other things for food, but said it was sweet of him to be offering.

On the collective front, I experienced a joy of physical community that continues to surprise me no matter how often I feel it. Parents and grandparents danced with their little ones. They explored the booths and the displays, including a small number of animals and insects.* Strangers shared seats and chit-chat; the conversation flowed so easily, it was if we were all meeting again, not for a first time.

As I eventually slipped out past the pony ride with Littler on my shoulders, my heart was full. I’d left our house grudgingly, thinking how nice it would be to curl up and read, but what I’d ended up experiencing was far sweeter and more sustaining.

Printed words are good for many things, but they don’t quite match the soul-level sigh of satisfaction that comes with being physically enveloped in community.

* “Make it go away!” said Littler of a toad that appeared to be staring at him. “That’s its home, sweetie. If you don’t like looking at it, the answer is for you to go away.” He reached out for me to pick him up, and I did.

  1. October 16, 2017 at 4:43 am

    What a wonderful day! I love how Littler eats his pizza. Very creative and unique.

  2. October 16, 2017 at 8:03 am

    It sounds like, you had an amazing day, Sandra 🙂

  3. October 16, 2017 at 8:05 am

    Sorry for writing a wrong name for you, Deborah.

  4. October 16, 2017 at 8:25 am

    Doesn’t everyone ate pizza like that? I thought that was how you were supposed to eat pizza… Don’t tell me that’s wrong……

  5. October 16, 2017 at 7:16 pm

    Love those curls!

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