Max at 19 weeks, full of exclamation marks.
But recently my son reminded me of an incredibly important lesson and I thought I'd share. Here it is: make sure your life has enough exclamation points. For example, Max is 15 months old. Everything, and I mean everything is new and exciting to him. If he could talk in sentences, it would sound something like this. "Mom!! MOM! There's a doggie! oh my gosh, oh my gosh, OHMYGOSH, I want to pet him. I GOT TO PET HIM! He licked my hand! I LOVE HIM!"
Or...."Mom! MOM!! Look out the window! Last night it was all blue and sparkly and TODAY it's completely different! There's TREES! And grass! And houses! And OHMYGOSH there's a DOG! CanIpethimcanipethimcanipet him, PLEASE?"
Or "Mom! MOM!! I'm in the bath tub! I LOVE the bathtub!! Look! I'm peeing! I'm peeing in the bath tub! HAHA! Isn't life great??"
Everything he does excites him greatly. Well, of course it does, he's not even two yet. Wonder is a lot harder to come by the time you're an adult. But Max's sentences ALL have exclamation points at the end. No wonder he can't wait to get up in the morning. Mine sentences go something more like this.
"Ugh, the baby's awake. I am so tired."
"I smell cat pee. Where did the cat pee."
"I'm going to the grocery store. Again. I am so tired."
And herein lies the problem. There's a lot in adults' lives that HAS to be done. There's no getting around it. Fine. I accept that. There's shopping and cooking and diapers and feedings and bills and cleaning and yard work and dusting, there's deadlines and meetings and projects and papers, and on and on and on. And it must be done. It all must be done. So here's what I propose for all of us. More exclamation points. More wonder. More joy.
Whatever your day holds, take a page from Max's book and be sure to add in some exclamation points. It can be anything that, in your mind, gets an exclamation point at the end of the sentence. Like this: "Oh BOY, I get to go to Knitting Club tonight! I can't wait!" Or "Oh BOY! I'm going to watch the new Ken Burn's documentary and drink cheap wine. I can't wait!"
You may have to look for these things. Once exclamation points leave your sentences it can be hard to get them back. But it's important to try. Life contains a depressing amount of hum drum periods, tiresome commas, and troubling question marks. Sprinkle in some exclamation points and watch your day come alive. I have to go now. My son is adding more exclamation points to his day.
"Mommy, look! I'm playing in the potty! WHEEEEEEE!" Have fun!