My daughter gave me this plant four years ago. I’m always surprised and delighted when she blooms. 🙂
Road Trip Day 10 – Hanging out with the kids
My daughter got up early to make homemade vegan biscuits, to eat with apple butter from yesterday’s fun. They were delicious!
It was a gorgeous day, temp in the 50’s in the morning, so we set off for a short hike and sat by the Deerfield River for a bit. It was really great to be out in nature. So much beauty in this area! If it weren’t for the winters, and being far from grandbabies, I would want to live here.
We went a bit farther down the road, to Shelburne Falls, investigating the shops, not buying much, and then had a really delicious lunch at Hearty Eats.
Then we enjoyed walking across the bridge of flowers. So beautiful!
We found Mo’s Candy store at the other end, and I got some fudge for the trip home – hopefully I won’t eat it all, and can share some with the husband when I get home!
I’m so glad I go to spend time with these children of mine, 2000 miles from home.
Through the eyes of a two year old
I spent some time with my granddaughter yesterday. She is at that age where she has started to think about things, but is not yet able to express all her ideas verbally. She is stringing words together, but most of what she says is delightfully unintelligible.
“Swing and slide?” she asked in her sweet baby voice. So I put her in her stroller with her baby doll and pushed her the mile to the park, a green patch in the city. I wonder what she thinks, as the cars swoosh by, and we pass random people. She puts out her hand to touch some hedges along the side walk. We stop to smell some flowers.
She got restless the last quarter mile or so, asking me questions I couldn’t understand, talking and occasionally singing. I was glad she was happy, and I would point out things along the way, telling her we were almost there. Finally, we were at the green, first passing the dog park, which brought on a stream of dog like sounds from baby, then there we were at the playground. There were a lot of other kids and parents out on this warm February day.
I helped her out of the stroller and she headed for the swings. All but one were occupied, so I lifted her up into it, and “swing, swing” she laughed and sang as I pushed her. She gazed in fascination at the little girl in the swing next to her. “Baby!” she chortled with delight.
I spent the next 45 minutes following her around the small play area, guarding her as she climbed ladders meant for older children, laughing with her as she slid down the numerous slides, pleased that she cooperated with other children. Often she would stop and just stare at another child, and I wondered what she was thinking. Another little girl around her age was not having a good day, and as my little sweetie observed her crying, she said “baby cry? night-night?” Good observation, I thought!
I was wearing out before she did, and, anticipating the trek back, coerced her back into the stroller with the promise of a snack and taking her shoes off. Thus settled, we made the journey home, with her chatter and singing delighting me. She tweeted with the birds, and, pointing out a squirrel, “get nuts?” she queried.
Arriving home, I took off my sandals and sat on the tub to wash my dusty achy feet, which turned into a bath for her! We splashed and laughed and it was absolutely delightful!
It wasn’t until I was leaving that she had a meltdown. She was trying to communicate something to do with a toy car that looks like “Sassa’s car” and it seemed to be important that she take the car outside but since she was naked Mama and I were saying no. So she threw the car and quietly crumpled and threw herself around a bit. This is when parenting is hard. What is it going on in the mind of a two year old that is inexpressible and therefore frustrating? What is a grownup to do?
Fortunately, her mother practices gentle parenting, and spoke to her gently but firmly. She offered to put a diaper on her and take her outside, which was satisfactory. There was still something on baby girl’s mind, but she was less upset, and was happy to see my car, for whatever reason, and we kissed and hugged and I went on my way.
All this to say, a two year old lives moment to moment, joy and frustration being dealt with as it comes, and we grownups have lessons to learn from it. If you have a two year old, remember this the next time they throw a tantrum. They don’t have the words to express themselves yet, so it’s not a punishable offense. And you? Take life a little less seriously, and enjoy each beautiful moment.
Embrace the moment!
I’ve had several memorable moments already this morning.
Waking up in the dark, the dream memory fading, savoring the nearness of my lover.
Drinking a chocolate strawberry spinach smoothie with fresh grated nutmeg sprinkled on top.
Driving to the park while it was still dark, sparse traffic on this Saturday morning.
Walking alone on the path, runners passing me up, and timing it perfectly to catch the sunrise.
I came home and decided to take a cup of coffee down to the bench by the lake. It was still early enough not to be too hot, not 80 degrees yet. The water was quiet and calm, few birds, no people. I watched the fish jumping, my mind wandering all over the place, and I found myself pondering something someone said at work yesterday:
“It’s Friday! One more day closer to retirement!”
It’s just a saying, and I laughed with everyone else. But really, that’s not how I want to face my life, or my days.
“This day is dragging, I can’t wait for it to be over.”
“I can’t wait for Christmas, or my birthday, or… retirement.”
But stop, look at the moment. Maybe I’m a glass all the way full person, and I might drive other people crazy with my perpetual optimism, but why not? If you go through life waiting for something that you think will be better, you miss out on a lot of great moments.
I haven’t always thought like this. I went to a silent meditation retreat last year, and had no timepiece, no way to keep up with time. Our days were guided by gongs. I knew the schedule, knew that the gong would go off in 2 hours, but without a watch, all alone in my room, it seemed like time stood still. I purposed then to never say that the day was dragging or I wished it would be over.
I do catch myself watching the time while I’m at work, and when I leave the building, I always feel very happy to go. But when I catch myself, I try to stop and look at the moment and embrace it. Maybe its a lull in activity. I can meditate, or find a window to look out of, or help a coworker. Maybe my phone won’t stop ringing, so I can give each caller my full attention and be polite and kind. Maybe someone is facing hard decisions about a loved one’s medical condition and care and I can give them my full attention, guidance, and even a hug.
There are hard moments too. I have experienced personal pain, loss through death of loved ones and loss through others’ choices. These are moments that are difficult to embrace. In these moments, sometimes all we can do is accept compassion from others and know that the storm will pass and the sun will come out leaving our hearts forever changed.
Right now I confess I am counting down the days until we leave on our long awaited three week vacation, a road trip through parts of New England up to Maine and Nova Scotia. I am very excited. I have wanted this for a long time. I am marking the days on the calendar! But at the same time, I purpose to savor the moments between now and then. There are books to read, paint to play with, sunsets to savor, walks to take, work to do, a trip to pack for, and most of all, people to love.
What moments can you appreciate today?
A Walk in the Wilderness
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