Paulo Coelho writes, “How much I missed, simply because I was afraid of missing it.” Today, I was given the opportunity for a sparkling adventure, but I missed my cue and found myself in metaphorical mud instead of enjoying a fun day out with our girls.

I needed to go into the Brisbane city for some important paperwork, and I envisioned myself sailing along — sans enfants — in and out of public transport and along the city streets I’m very familiar with from my old working days. I knew I could be efficient and have a great day of it, with only Elijah for company on my back.

Then I asked David.

And David asked me to take the four girls too.

This was my cue.

At this moment, I could have decided to make the outing into one grand, sparkling adventure. For our girls, my errand was irrelevant. They were coming for the train ride, the excitement of the city, the hustle, the bustle and the [inevitable] yummy food.

Instead of embracing their presence, I resented it. I kept up a brave face, but in my heart I wished I could have gone to the city by myself.

So we caught the train, wandered around and eventually found ourselves on a bus home again. All without quite enjoying a sparkling adventure.

Delaney plays with her fingers, June 2012
On the train ride into the city, Dell plays with her fingers, making them into chirpy, little people.

I had a moment when I looked at the movies playing at the cinema, and I saw that in just ten minutes was the perfect movie that our daughters would enjoy — even if it is (cough) by Disney. But I calculated the cost and decided that the money was too much and in doing so sentenced our day to the annals of boredom instead of bringing it up into one sparkling adventure in the city in the girls’ memories.

So I blew it. I lost the sparkle that was given to me today, simply because I felt grumpy and selfish and couldn’t get over myself. I had wanted to enjoy a grand day out and felt that the kids were cramping my style…

And I didn’t even realise what I had done until I came home and reported on the sheer nothingness of our outing. It was only as I articulated the small, brightnesses in the day — the girl with candy-pink hair on the bus and the bus-driver who didn’t charge me a fare for our children — that I realised I had lost the opportunity.

So today’s gone. But tomorrow will give me another chance.

Sometimes I forget that I don’t have to be travelling in some exotic locality to enjoy a sparkling adventure. Scintillating moments can happen amongst the chores at home, the shade of the back yard trees or under the covers of warm blankets when we’re saying good-night.

Shared moments of joy — treasured, captured and documented — means that our lives sparkle more in retrospect and the future shines even brighter. I’m going to have to remember to make every day into a sparkling adventure again!