Yesterday I found so many reasons to smile.
I had the wonderful fortune of spending the morning with my mother-in-law and her mother-in-law, two ladies who excel at being lovely, strolling through the National Art Gallery and the Notre Dame Cathedral. We saw snowflakes dancing in the wind and sunlight dappling the rooftops through a soaring glass facade. We saw stunning ivory carvings, whimsical blue ducks and a mosaic of fabrics in the most brilliant shade of red. We saw far more penises than I think was necessary, but that's neither here nor there. We saw portraits almost one hundred years old that could have been taken yesterday, as well as paintings by accomplished artists that might easily be reproduced by my three year old. It was the first art gallery I've been to in a long time, and it was refreshing beyond words. Smile-inducing, to say the least.
We sat here:
We went to lunch, the ladies and I, joined by my father-in-law who was just in time to watch us eat a most luxurious sticky toffee pudding before ducking into the kitchen shop next door to dream about a kitchen filled with every gadget for every culinary adventure I might ever take - with one in every colour, of course.
I found myself alone, wandering cheerfully along streets that before today had been previously undiscovered, at least by me, letting the sunlight soak into my pores and making a mental note to do this much more often. Wandering, exploring, dilly dallying. Enjoying the quiet in my mind amid the bustle of the city.
I drove slowly, appreciating that there was no need to rush to the next destination, enjoying the luxury of having a vehicle that could take me where I needed to go. I let people around me do the hurrying while I turned up the music and eased off the gas.
E and I ran around the park, chasing, climbing, balancing and swinging. We smiled, happy to be together.
I watched my daughter in her swim class, the one with her hand perpetually in the air to be the first to attempt whatever feat the instructor might dream up. I watched the instructor react with surprise and amusement every time E was able to do something that the bigger kids had trouble with. I watched my daughter float on her stomach with her face in the water for five full seconds while my entire body swelled with pride and my smile engulfed my entire face.
I stole a spoonful of chocolate chip cookie dough from the freezer.
J and I went to bed, for the second night in a row, before 10pm and chatted sleepily in the darkness.
Sometimes all you need is a Tuesday and a smile.