When my daughter was small, she used to adore chocolate ice cream. We have countless pictures of her as a toddler licking chocolate ice cream cones, the chocolate dripping down her chin and onto her cute little dress or shirt and shorts. She, however, is oblivious of the mess. She isn’t caring about getting the clothes into the washer before the stains set, or searching for the nearest hose to water her down. The reason we took so many pictures is because she has this look of bliss on her face from the pure pleasure of being in the moment, enjoying it to the fullest. The experience of that cold, delicious treat sliding down her throat on those hot summer days–it was fully lived.
As adults, we often lose this ability to live in the moment. I just spent a week with my two beautiful daughters, one on spring break from college and the other from grad school. They were worried about the typical things young women of their ages worry about–summer internships, getting accepted into grad school, navigating their way through relationship with coworkers, roommates, and men. As their mother, I worry with them. But several times during the week, we took time to visit our favorite ice cream shop in the world, the very same one from their childhood.
Sure enough, my daughter ordered the flavor she’s been ordering since she was old enough to say “chocolate fudge brownie.” I couldn’t help covertly watching her, remembering, wondering if after all these years, it would have the same effect. And yep, her eyes closed in ecstasy, and a huge smile crossed her face.
No matter how much life changes, some things don’t. This was strangely comforting. The lesson for me being, we all need to slow down a little more, stop stressing so much, and just enjoy the chocolate!