There are people in our lives that demonstrate what it means to be delighted and delightful. In the very way they live, move, and have their being, they teach us to expect quite a bit more than our mediocrity-inclined society will dish out if we don’t intentionally demand better.
My mother and I speak a similar language of delight. We don’t need to explain to each other why something needs to be as beautiful and as special as it can be. That doesn’t mean throwing money around and sparing no expense, but inexpensive doesn’t have to mean tacky.
When I was in first grade, we had to bring decorated boxes to school to collect our valentines. Though we were quite poor, my sister and I attended private school. Socio-economically, our classmates trumped us by quite a large margin. As a six-year-old I was concerned to the point of anxiety with this Valentine’s Day box. The other children were bringing in large, elaborately decorated boxes. Did we even have a spare shoebox around?
I was starting to despair, my child’s mind dreading the mortification that I knew was coming. We couldn’t afford to buy the big stickers and elaborate decorations. But it didn’t matter what my mother’s income, she always knew what style meant. She skillfully cut a Grape-Nuts box (probably in use at the time) into a mailbox and covered it in thick, glossy white paper. She cut a big heart out of gold paper and found little valentines pictures in magazines and newspapers. She pasted them onto the box. With the items we had around our apartment, she created a work of sheer beauty. The only thing more money would have bought us was something mass-produced and common. My box was far from common. It wasn’t even red.
Most of what I’ve learned about delight and living a delighted life I have learned from her. Her creativity, her style, her savoir-faire know no bounds. Not only do I love her for being my mother, but I truly just like her quite a lot. She delights me.