As much as my son pushed to go, I pushed back with a million reasons why we shouldn't. The heat, the crowds, the bad food, the corrals of people waiting forever to board a ride. Ugh! No, no, no, I exclaimed! I wanted Ryan to see it my way, to understand my thinking and agree that we should just stay home and avoid the whole very bad scene.
But Ryan was not to be dissuaded and after a bit, I came to understand how important the trip was to him. Even though I didn't agree with his thinking and even though I really hated the thought of spending the day at a place that went totally against how I like to spend my time, I relented.
The day before the trip, as I complained to my mom about the amusement park, she offhandedly suggested I take my camera, thinking I might want to shoot something interesting for my blog in one of the many small towns along the way. While I didn't see anything worth photographing along the way I did began to photograph my son and his friends enjoying the rides at the park. After a bit, as I reviewed each shot after I took it, one thing began to stick out in the photos time and time again. Ryan's smile. His big, authentic, full of happiness smile.
In that moment, something shifted within me and suddenly all of Ryan's smiles were worth so much more than anything I could have accomplished by staying home. Making him happy by giving up something of myself felt so good and reminded me of the fact that life isn't about getting what you want but about giving up some of what you want in order to find deep connection with another. That hanging in there and finding your way through a disagreement or tough situation can bring something unexpected and incredibly meaningful.