The Unexpected

10-15 Leaves Collage - Copy

Leaves changing color.  That’s exactly what I expected to see during our mid-October hike.  In the desert of Phoenix, you just don’t see reds and oranges, so in honor of our first fall in a climate that actually experiences fall, my mission is to see as much red as possible.  (And not the shade of red I see when the kids push my buttons :))

10-15 Flower Collage - Copy

On that hike, I was pleasantly surprised to encounter flowers.  (If you’re looking at the photos above thinking, “Flowers?  Um, those are weeds.” I should clarify that I consider anything with a bloom or decorative piece at the end of a stem a flower.)

That night, my kids planned to “camp out” in our pop-up trailer, which was still set up from the night before when my older son and his friend slept in it.  Purist campers will shudder at me calling this camping because it doesn’t involve shivering in a pitched tent.  Why do that when you can have a heater, and something resembling a bed?

Nightfall came and I got the boys settled in the trailer with flashlights and a phone handset that would dial my cell phone with the press of the “redial” button.  I went inside and powered up my laptop to do some blog reading.  Ten minutes later, I heard the back door open and the kids came trailing in.

“We heard a noise,” my older son said.

“You’ll be fine inside the trailer.”

“I want to sleep in my room.”

I set my laptop aside and tucked them into bed.  My younger son was the one who really wanted to sleep in the trailer because I wouldn’t let him tag along with his brother the night before.

“Are you okay with not sleeping in the trailer?”  I asked.

He didn’t respond immediately, but when he did, it sounded something like, “Iwantedtosleepinthetrailerandsaidthenoisedidn’tbothermebuthecameinsideandIdidn’twanttostayoutsidealone.”  Tears followed.

“So you wanted to stay out there?”

“Yes, but not alone.”

And just like that my plans for the evening changed.

Much like I didn’t expect to see flowers blooming on a fall hike, I hadn’t anticipated being curled up next to my seven-year-old in a pop-up trailer.  I was disappointed I didn’t get a chance to catch up on blogging (catch up, haha…I don’t ever really get there!) but I needed to be with Pickles.

I became aware of the sensation of his small hand resting on my arm. I felt the magic of recognizing the making a life-long memory in the moment it happens.  Earlier that day, nature showed me the beauty in the unexpected, and in that moment, peaceful contentment eclipsed the burden of changed plans.  I got it.

I’m a little wiser, and my son has a new memory of our night “camping” alone.  Oh, and I bet those blogs didn’t even miss me!


34 thoughts on “The Unexpected

    • jannatwrites October 16, 2013 / 10:04 PM

      Thanks for reading and reblogging, Duke 🙂

    • jannatwrites October 16, 2013 / 10:04 PM

      Thanks, Phil! I appreciate you stopping by 🙂

  1. nrhatch October 16, 2013 / 6:56 AM

    Yay! That’s it! This is a fantastic post. When we are “in the moment” -> we see the value of subtle (and not so subtle) course corrections, we notice opportunities (and flowers) as they bloom, we feel the warmth and joy of each caress. We remain in direct contact with the present in the Here and Now.

    • jannatwrites October 16, 2013 / 10:06 PM

      I’m glad you enjoyed this post, Nancy! I like the idea of keeping in contact with the here and now. My young son has a way of making this happen. Just today, after a loooong day of work, he sat on the couch and hugged my arm, announcing it was “mommy time.” Nice 🙂

  2. Debbie October 16, 2013 / 7:35 AM

    “I got it.” That sums it up perfectly, Janna. What a wonderful memory you made — for BOTH of you! And, dare I say it, memories like that will sustain you when those teenage (and beyond) years arrive!

    • jannatwrites October 16, 2013 / 10:07 PM

      I might need a lot more than memories to survive the teen years, Debbie! Thanks so much for reading 🙂

  3. Carl D'Agostino October 16, 2013 / 8:32 AM

    Miami seems not much on flowers – everything is manicured lawns and palm trees.

    • jannatwrites October 16, 2013 / 10:08 PM

      That’s too bad, Carl. There’s something interesting about a more natural landscape. Our yard is forest and wildflowers….after sixteen years of HOA-approved landscape, I’m loving the freedom.

    • jannatwrites October 16, 2013 / 10:09 PM

      The small things are a big deal, Tina. Thanks for reading and ‘getting it’ 🙂

  4. Tessa October 16, 2013 / 12:42 PM

    What we do for our kids to make memories.

    • jannatwrites October 16, 2013 / 10:10 PM

      What’s a sore back for a couple days, right? I’m glad I could make it all better this time. Thanks for stopping by, Tessa. I hope you are doing better

  5. ly October 16, 2013 / 1:28 PM

    We may have missed you but look what we got–this wonderful, meaningful story. And look what you go!!

    • jannatwrites October 16, 2013 / 10:12 PM

      Thanks for your kind comment, Ly! It’s a nice feeling when I learn something, and even better when others can relate to some part of it 🙂

  6. Eric Alagan October 16, 2013 / 5:01 PM

    Beautiful moments spent with our children are worth much more – than blogging.

    What a lovely experience you had, that added to your treasure trove of memories 🙂

    • jannatwrites October 16, 2013 / 10:14 PM

      Very true, Eric! It was fun. (Well, until my son flipped where he was perpendicular to me and I had his foot jamming into my side :))

  7. pattisj October 16, 2013 / 9:27 PM

    Those qualified as flowers to me, too. That’s so sweet, to spend the night out in the camper, the two of you are so brave! You definitely earned bonus points for that in his eyes.

    • jannatwrites October 16, 2013 / 10:17 PM

      I don’t know about brave, Patti. The only wildlife around here that would scare me while in the camper is a bear. Luckily, we didn’t see one. I caught a whiff of a skunk nearby, but we didn’t get sprayed, so it was a good night!

      • pattisj October 16, 2013 / 11:27 PM

        Glad it was only a whiff!

  8. GodGirl October 17, 2013 / 12:14 AM

    “Peaceful contentment eclipsed the burden of changed plans” – I love that line. Changed plans can often bring the greatest joy, even though we tend to resist them at first.

    • jannatwrites October 17, 2013 / 5:43 PM

      Resistance is futile, but I still try. Or get cranky when I see the change cannot be undone. If I relax and go with it, I often do see the beauty. Thanks so much for reading and sharing your thoughts, GodGirl!

  9. Imelda October 17, 2013 / 10:45 AM

    Your son was brave to even try to be in the camper alone. My 8 year old, for the longest time, could not even go down to the basement by himself. He wanted to have anybody, somebody with him even if that somebody was his then 22 month old brother.
    I bet you had a special bonding time with your son. The bloggy world will go on without any of us, but our children’s world won’t. And I am happy for you you have a proper fall now. I love your oranges. 🙂

    • jannatwrites October 17, 2013 / 5:49 PM

      Oh he wouldn’t stay out there alone, Imelda. The only way he’d do it was if I stayed with him (since big brother bailed!)

      Thanks for reading and checking out my fall leaves. I have seen a few reds, too 🙂

  10. Widdershins October 17, 2013 / 5:44 PM

    And look at the wonderful post you got out of it!

  11. agjorgenson October 17, 2013 / 8:52 PM

    Yes, the right choice was made. I remember a fellow student working- slowly – on her dissertation and reminding herself (and me) that a dissertation will not be holding your hand as you breathe your last breath. Nor will those blogs.

    • jannatwrites October 19, 2013 / 12:12 AM

      What a good thought to keep in mind to help us prioritize our time. We might find that the things we put our time into aren’t all that important to us after all.

  12. Deborah October 19, 2013 / 6:07 AM

    Reblogged this on Container Chronicles and commented:
    It’s important to make sure the tasks of life leave plenty of room for those unexpected moments. What a great reminder!

    • jannatwrites October 20, 2013 / 10:12 AM

      Thanks so much for the reblog, Deborah! I saw you replied to a previous comment on your blog with some links to posts of Taiwan. I’m hoping to have a chance to read them today…my lazy day 🙂

      • Deborah October 21, 2013 / 5:32 AM

        Lazy days are nice 🙂

        • jannatwrites October 21, 2013 / 9:31 PM

          They don’t happen often, so I gladly enjoy them when they come along 🙂

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