The Antidote

I have not had a lot of joy in my life lately.  I seem to have lost my writing mojo, there are tensions at home, problems at work, sad and dreary weather forecasts, and full schedules.  I feel like I’m in a funk, and my life seems… joyless.

In the midst of my doldrums, I have been drawn to my Katie.  She epitomizes the word joyful.   Katie literally wakes up with a smile.  That’s how I know she is fully awake as I stand at her bedside In the morning, cooing her name in the dawn light.  I see the corners of her tiny mouth upturn into a smile, even though her eyes are still closed against the morning sun.  Katie just exudes joy.  She speaks only in exclamation marks.  Everything is exciting!  I often receive smirks and smiles from passing mommies in the store as they witness Katie’s happiness at finding a pair of shoes in her size!  Or locating the cookies we were looking for!  Or noticing the letter K in the store name!  There is so much to be happy about in Katie’s world!  Katie skips, rather than walks.  She dances, rather than standing still .  She sings, rather than talks.   Katie is just… happy.  She is the antidote to doldrums.

Which is why, if you came by my house on Sunday afternoon, you may have found me hiding in the bushes, waiting for my joyful seeker to find me.  Or counting to ten with covered eyes, waiting for the sound of Katie’s giggles to lead me to her hiding spot.  Or sitting on the chalk-covered driveway, drawing pictures of spring flowers and listening to Katie exclaim, “I drew a pur-pur one!”  Or crouching next to the sand pile, letting the sand run through my fingers and cover my legs.  Or running barefoot through the grass in the drizzling rain.  You would have found me laughing and grinning, letting Katie’s smile push away the worries of the world.

You would have found me learning how to live happy from my joyful Katie.  And, honestly, I feel better already.

Join the Slice of Life Story link-up at the Two Writing Teachers.

Join the Slice of Life Story link-up at the Two Writing Teachers.


22 thoughts on “The Antidote

  1. I wish I could celebrate the small things like Katie. It takes a lot more to put an exclamation point at the end of my sentences these days and summer vacation is still 8 weeks away.

  2. What a lovely tribute to your daughter’s sunny and joyful personality! I hope the doldrums are banished by that little smile and the wonderful interludes you’ve shared with your Katie.

  3. Bravo for Katie! I feel the same way, Dana – we just began our last marking period, and I am dragging. I’ve lost the mojo, it seems, for a bunch of things. But, I will seek out my Katies, too – and inch my way back to joy – as you have.

  4. There are so many beautiful lines and phrases in this slice and you perfectly captured the essence of your joyful little girl!
    Thank you for also reminding us to look for the Katies in our lives:)

  5. Dana, there is so much I like about this post. I found myself grinning with “That’s how I know she is fully awake as I stand at her bedside In the morning, cooing her name in the dawn light.” I love, love, love “cooing her name” and I became totally mesmerized throughout. I am sorry for your problems, and am glad you have her joy. As far as losing your mojo, your writing delights. Keep working to find that space. You have such a nice way with words. I can’t wait to see where you go with your words.

  6. April is my least favorite month! Testing, taxes, never ending tension to finish things up! Time to reset! It’s always tough! So glad that Katie could help you move on!

  7. What a poetic post! I could feel the joy overtake your sadness in just a few lines, and how exciting it was to walk down the path of happiness with you! Kudos to Katie! 🙂

  8. I could use some of Katie’s exclamation points. Lately I’ve been speaking in ellipses, or commas. Completing a whole thought is a challenge. . . . Small children are the anti-sadness medicine we all need, aren’t they?

  9. I love your beautiful homage to Katie! I never understood the phrase, “seeing the world through a child’s eyes”, until I had my son. Now, I soak it in 🙂

  10. We can learn so much from our little ones … including lots of joy and happiness. My favorite: “She speaks only in exclamation marks.” I’m most amazed when I slow down and pay closer attention to their laughs and silly nonsense they chat about with each other. I’m glad you caught the joy bug from your Katie. Let it spread! And, I agree — your writing brings me joy! So I’m glad you decided to still write today. (By the way, when my girls were little, they loved the color pur-pur!!! For awhile we loved how they said it, and we copied them!)

  11. I love how you described Katie and her gleeful enthusiasm for everything. The exclamation marks really brought that to life! The other day I was lugging out my huge work bag from the car after just getting home with my 4 year old son Alex. I wanted him to go ahead of me into the garage and was about to scold him for running onto the lawn. Then I stopped and noticed he had eyed a squirrel and was crouching down,studying him, then gleefully running after him, huge smile on his face, fully believing he could catch that squirrel. The moment made me smile and I took a breath. With all the “to-do’s”, it can be hard to find joy but kids sure bring it back!

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