By Chastity Harris - firstname.lastname@example.org
Disappointment is never fun, but it's a part of life. They don't have your size in the shoes you want. The new movie you've been waiting months for is a dud. Your dinner plans get canceled at the last minute. We don't like it. We may grumble about it. As adults we can adjust. Can't we?
For children, disappointment can be crushing. They can't always see the big picture, and a major let down can shake their faith in people. As a parent you never want to see one of your kiddos hurting, let alone all of them.
A few weeks ago we had plans to go away for a few days while I had some down time in my job transition. Our kids were thrilled at the prospect of staying in a hotel, and most of all visiting the amusement park in Hershey, Pa.. As their parents, anything we say is gospel law. They couldn't imagine that the trip would not come to pass.
Life happens though, and my husband's vacation request was not approved. We'll still be able to go, just not until later in the year. I might as well have told my kids we'd never be going on vacation again. A few weeks sounded like a few centuries to them.
What's worse is that one of my girls had fallen asleep as soon as we had come home that evening, and she slept right on through until morning. She wasn't awake when I told the other two we were postponing the trip. I had to watch another little face fall the next morning when I explained it all over again.
My counter offer to my kids' disappointment was making lemonade with mom. After all, I had cleared my schedule. Why not make the most of our time? I'm always jealous of the fun stuff my babysitter gets to do with them. We would take our nasty lemons and make the best lemonade ever.
This summer I have become a Pinterest addict. If you haven't checked out the website, I highly recommend it. That's where we gathered the rest of our ingredients. I scoured through my Pinterest board of kids crafts and summer activities and found the most interesting ones for our list - ranging from sidewalk paint and salt art to snake bubbles. Then we hit the dollar store for supplies.
Stir in some pool time, ice cream, and a trip to an inflatable indoor playground and you have a deliciously sweet lemonade.
We made some wonderful memories, and I'm fairly certain that their faith has been restored that we will be making that trip to Hershey sooner rather than later.
In many ways, I think our time together was more precious than any amusement park vacation.
Even though they adore ferris wheels and funnel cakes, I'd like to think that painting rainbows on our driveway will be in their Top 5 memories of this summer.
The whole experience has made me wonder, though. As "mature" grown-ups, how often do we make the best of things? Do we just take life's disappointments on the chin and move on? If so, maybe all those little lemons are leaving a sour taste.
Maybe adults would have less wrinkles if we didn't look like we were tasting something foul all the time.
Give yourself something to smile about. So what if dinner was a flop, that's a great excuse to order pizza. Terrible day at work? Do something mindless, like chasing fireflies.
Don't just wait for happiness, create happiness.
If we're crushed to see our children's sadness at disappointments, I'm sure our Heavenly Father feels the same way about us.
Why not make lemonade a little more often? I'd be happy to share my recipe.
Chastity Harris is a valley native, born and raised in Shenandoah County. With the help of her husband of 13 years, she juggles her three school-age children, their multitude of activities, a full-time job and a yard full of chickens. Chastity can be reached at email@example.com.