Skipping to our own beat

I felt pretty beat up the other day.  I created one of my “what do I want to do with my life” fixations where I obsess about what I want my legacy to be, how I can create a start-up business that will help the world, how I can be more creative.  I shot down any belief that I could make progress on anything that I wanted to do. All in all, pretty daggone depressed.  The kids played in the other room while I scoured the internet for articles that would bring some glimmer of light into my downtrodden day.  Nothing.

The sun even beamed through the window; typically a welcome visitor.  Eventually, I knew I needed to get outside and at least take a walk.  Walks generally put me in a little higher state of mind.  I yelled to Maria and Mario to put on their jackets because we were going to take a walk to the library.  After a few sighs and begging to use the car (I do not know what happened to my “green” kids – I think they revert to motor vehicles once it hits below 50 degrees!), we slipped on our jackets and headed outside.  Much to our chagrin, the sun and lack of clouds brought the temperature to close to 60 degrees.  Maria whipped off her jacket and Mario ran in glee. 

As we approached the corner of our street and First Avenue, I still felt gloomy even though the sun’s rays warmed us up.  Another block up, Mario reached up and took my hand.  I looked down at his sweet, round face. 

“Mom, I have an idea.  Let’s skip! Come on, Ria, you too!” 

The babes skipping

He started the skipping, skipping to his own little beat.  Maria followed, skipping to a completely different beat on the heels of her brother and eventually up to his side to hold his hand. I took a deep breath and dove into it.  And so we skipped down First Avenue.  And my gloomy mood began to wash away. 

How could I not smile as I lifted my feet to skip down the street like I used to do when I was 8 years old?  How could I not find pleasure in watching Maria and Mario lift their little feet and skip down the street with wide smiles on their face and genuine laughter pouring from their mouth?  

Such a simple act to perform and such a huge difference in mood.  I could have talked until I was blue in the face to a girlfriend or read twenty articles on improving my mood but they would have not had near the effect on me that skipping to my own beat produced.  And all because of my 6 and 4-year-old kids who sensed my funk and knew just how to bring me out of it.  My kids are able to teach me just as much as I am able to teach them, and often times, on a much more grounding level (and to their glee, they got a library vending machine snack out of it since I was in such a good mood!).


Maria and Mario skipping on the street

I had a crazy, busy, erratic, hectic, irritating day yesterday at work.  I ate way too much sugar, drank way too many diet colas, and moved way too little.  I got in my car to pick up Mario at 5 pm and on the way to the daycare, I stewed about all of the crappy things said and done throughout my day.  I walked into the daycare to find Mario lined up ready to go outside.  He didn’t notice me at first but when he heard me question “Where is my little Mario?” he immediately turned his head and ran to me while exclaiming “Mommy!” 

The brain is a marvelous, fascinating organ.  Upon seeing his eyes widen and hearing the words “Mommy!” come from his tiny mouth, all of the anger and irritation I had stored up from my day washed away.  I could have just woken up from a night of deep sleep or just gone on a refreshing run.  The pleasure and serenity of holding my child in my arms blew my entire crappy day to pieces.  If only Mario would not flip out whenever I came to his daycare to simply say “hi” throughout the day – I could recharge my body and mind by dashing over to the daycare and getting that warm reception from him every three hours.  The same is true for my Maria.  When I walk in the door from a long day at work, she almost always greets me with an emphatic “Mom!” and comes running in the kitchen to embrace me with her strong Maria-hug .  Whoosh – all the absurdity and madness of the day carried away with that 5 second squeeze. 

Giving each other hugs

Tonight, the kids and I took a walk up to the new yogurt store.  The night air brought a chill so we bundled up in our jackets (which I had almost stored away after having a full weekend of 70 degree days) and made our way out the door.  Maria darted off up the street, which is Mario’s new irritation.  He detests when she runs in front of him.  She is usually pretty good about stopping and waiting for him if he yells “Wait Sissy.”  Something about the word “sissy” grabs her heart.  He yelled the magic name as she ran up the street and she stopped.  He caught up to her (those little arms and legs pumping away!) and tugged at her jacket. 

“Maria, I know what we can do.  Let’s skip.”  And then, there it was – Maria and Mario skipping up the street.  I could not have ripped a more beautiful scene from the pages of the Evening Post magazine.  My heart expanded twenty-fold and if it exploded, it would have strewn multi-colored confetti everywhere.  Weirdo, heh?  I mean, really?  Who has not seen kids skip down the street?  Ahh, well, there is no control of the heart, and mine chose to fall in love with the sight of my daughter and son skipping.  The peach sunset and white blossoms didn’t hurt to set the scene either.  Those moments I am so grateful for because they keep me grounded and focused on what matters in life.  Skipping.