Drenched in sweat from head to toe, I walked back into the messy kitchen I'd been moping in an hour earlier and surprised my son, and a handful of the varsity basketball team with a scream. I was expecting a quiet kitchen. They had caught a ride to our home for lunch and were busily scouring the pantry and fridge looking for a quick meal. And wouldn't you know...? There wasn't a simple thing in sight to make for them to eat, but I scrounged up bagels and deli meat and cheese to make sandwiches, I sliced a few apples, added potato chips & finished with Oreo's for all.
And here's the thing I couldn't miss while I kept busy in the kitchen with them talking about finals, about summer plans, about the team, about changes for next year. Happiness had suddenly settled on my shoulder like a butterfly that I could've spent all day chasing without capturing. Happiness goes where it may unless you slow down and stand still to receive it where it lands. It won't be chased, it can't be caught, you must be still to find it and experience it.
And so I made them promise to come for lunch once a week next year and to bring another teammate who was missing. They ate quickly and kept checking the ticking clock for time to get back to school. Hopefully only I noticed my messy kitchen, the stack of clean laundry folded on the dining room table, a thin settling of dust on the sideboard, the extra-yappy dog, (and later, eek!, the spot of penicillin on the bread), and even if they did notice, even those little things I refuse to add up to further unhappiness. That. Just that. Plain and simple brought me enough joy to get over this current bump in the road.