Tuesday, June 23

Surprised by simplicity

I came across the most extraordinary ordinary thing a few days ago.

Actually, it's a pile of trash. The detritus of a party, waiting to be swept up. Can you tell what these were before they were trash, though?

They were sparklers. Old-fashioned sparklers, the kind that come 10 in a box, 3 boxes for a dollar. So very ordinary.

What is extraordinary is that the sparklers were the hit of the graduation party we had for our son. I bought the sparklers because I thought they might be fun for some of the guests, such as the younger brothers and sisters of the seniors. They seemed celebratory to me. But you know who really liked them? The graduates.

Somehow, I have come to think of my teenagers and their friends as so sophisticated. In fact, they are pretty sophisticated in some ways: they all have computers, they all have cell phones, they all have favorite drinks at Starbuck's. They have all experienced so much more in their lives than I had at their age.

Yet when they got together for a party, they had the best time with sparklers. As sophisticated and experienced as they are, when it was time for a party, they had the most fun playing with the same silly, fun thing that I enjoyed when I was a kid.

And somehow, in a world that seems so big and complicated, it's reassuring to know that kids are still kids. Fun is still fun. And for that matter, the mom is still the one sweeping up after the party. Solomon was right: there is nothing new under the sun.

Unwrapped with Emily at Chatting at the Sky


  1. haha! i love when all of the outward appearances are taken over with play. when kids can just forget the world and be kids... even if they are old kids!

  2. it's a testament to the comfort of your mothering.
    the clean up... well, it's all sacred work right :)

  3. I can still remember writing my name with sparklers when I was a kid... ummm...actually anytime there is sparklers, I am the FIRST in line to get one
    I never want to grow up

  4. I have a dozen boxs of these by my kitchen door right now. Bought them at the dollar store just a few days ago because they struck me as a fun activity with my girls.

    Waiting for the right night with fireflys and stars to break out this idea.

    I love that you share these seemingly insignificant details that really are where life is completed.

    Have a wonderful day.

  5. Hooray for good old-fashioned innocent fun!

  6. It's sometimes the most simple things that bring great joy!!!

  7. Sparklers are the most fun of the fireworks! It is great when teens step away from their electronics and just have pure simple fun! They miss so much with their noses in those phones and computers. It thrills me to see them be kids -- just like the old days (sigh, I am sounding old)!

    Good job on a fun graduation party for your son! Well done :-)


  8. What an insightful post! I'm so glad you found me, so that I could find you :)


  9. Sounds like your son is amazing and has amazing friends as well. You've done a good job. What was the secret? = )

  10. Tiercy, I wish I had some secrets, but I don't. Lots of love and the grace of God, and I am so grateful.

  11. I am immediately swept back into childhood when I smell that freshly-burned-sprinkler smell. All those humid 4th of July celebrations at my Aunt and Uncle's house. I still love them.


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