We went sledding again last weekend. It was a lot like the first trip, nothing too new to write about. Except Ily and I were just talking about it again and I remembered something. You see last time, when Isaac was going down the hill all by himself, he ran into someone’s sled and got hit in the head. It hurt and he didn’t want to sled any more. I talked him into going down the hill with me a few more times and that was it. This time, there were less people there, and he was having fun going down with Ily or me, but we were getting a little tired. We really wanted him to go down by himself.

At this point I need to pause and explain a bit about Joy School. Joy School is a pre-school program that a group of parents can do with their kids. Ily and some friends have been doing this all school year, and it’s been really great. Every lesson has a title such as, “The Joy of Sharing and Service,” or, “The Joy of Confidence and Trying.” Each one comes with a little song that goes with the lesson that all the kids learn, and fun activities to reinforce the ideas. Isaac really likes these songs and learns them well. They get stuck in my head too (and it doesn’t help that they all use one of maybe three melodies, but I digress).

OK, back up on the sledding hill. I’m trying to talk Isaac into going down the hill by himself. “Look Isaac, there’s nobody else near us today. You can do it, c’mon.” It’s not working, “No!” he firmly tells me, and sets his bottom lip. Ily is sitting watching this, and suddenly she breaks into song,

When a thing is hard to do I won’t sit and cry

I will sing a happy tune and try, try, try

Before she has said the last “try” Isaac, in almost robotic fashion, snaps into action, grabs the sled and, still scowling a bit even, pushes off down the hill.

“What is this magic Ily knows?” I wondered to myself in astonishment. Isaac trudged back up the hill and continued sledding by himself the rest of the day. He had a great time, and he wouldn’t even let me go down with him again. Amazing what a little Joy can do for someone.


Debi Dowling July 1, 2009 at 3:23 p.m.

This sounds a lot like a cassette I have, titled "I've Got Joy" by The Murdock Family. Is this the same family?

My child is now 23, with a wonderful career in music. She STILL hears those tunes! I would love to have a CD or MP3 if there is one. Need a creative idea? "Wiggle it Out" :-)

This is such timeless music. But then, it's about Joy.
Joy is always inspirational.