Monday, June 6, 2011

Keep Me Floating Just For Awhile

Here are my thoughts about being in my family:

I'm standing at an edge of the Atlantic Ocean digging my heels and toes into the pebbly sand as the undertoe tries to drag me in.  I'm watching my brother boogie board along huge waves I haven't been close to in a long time.  Geoff screams, "You gotta come in!  It's awesome!"  And I want to but behind me are Hadley and Harper. 

They're flying a kite with my dad and I know they don't care if I go in, but I have this voice in my head that convinces me that now that I'm a mother I shouldn't have any fun.  Well, fun, sure, but good for you stuff that makes you into a better person fun.  Exercise. Writing. Prayer. Eating watermelon.  It's good to enjoy these things, but throwing yourself into an oncoming wave twice your height?  That's not appropriate. 

Besides, yesterday somebody caught a stingray on the beach right around where I am standing.

But the undertoe is strong and I'm watching Geoff, my sister-in-law Kellee, my cousin Tara, her husband Pete, and their oldest son Cole dive into these foaming monsters with wild abandonment and laughing hysterically.  I giggle at their laugther and lift my heels a little so that the water drags me in.  Just a little.  I can easily come out of it if that voice starts to get too strong and I have a sudden urge to cut up some watermelon for everyone.

Except I start to hop the waves as they come in and that gets me a little deeper into the ocean.  Soon, I'm feet away from Kellee and Tara.  The three of us are watching a wave tower over us when Kellee screams, "GUARD YOUR LOINS!!!!"  She takes protective measures and jumps into the wave's crest.  The wave slams into me and I'm flipped over unsure of where all my limbs are.  I suppose I should be scared but Kellee's warning paired with getting totally beat up by a wave brings out a lovely carelessness in me and I can't stop laughing.

Geoff makes his way over and hands me a boogie board. 

"You have to use this.  It's so fun." 

I take the board because if I don't it'll just ride the wave itself.  There's no time for that silly voice in my head to tell me, "That's enough.  You could get hurt.  Besides, you're laughing too loud."  Because what my brother is doing is so simple - he wants me to join in the fun.  Stop dragging your heels, Callie, and get on the darn board. 
It reminded me of something that happened between Hadley and Harper last summer in a music class they took.  Harper stood next to me holding my hand with her head towards the ground the entire time while Hadley frolicked and sang with the other kids.  One week, however, Harper had a slight smile on her face and began to wiggle a bit with the music.  Hadley saw it, came out of the group, and grabbed Harper's hand.  Just like Geoff, it wasn't an option.  She knew Harper would have fun and there was no reason she needed to second guess herself about it.  Hadley unclasped Harper's hand in mine, replaced it with hers, and brought Harper into the group. Harper stayed and sang and danced.  And eventually, she let go of Hadley's hand and did it all by herself.

Before we knew it, Harper didn't want to leave.  She wanted to stay in music class.  She wanted everyone to stay in music class.  Music class is the greatest!


Cecilia Marie Pulliam said...

We adults forget all to often the joys of childhood wrapped in all of our responsibilities. You are correct, we shouldn't take unecessary risk that could harm oursleves or others, but taking a calculated risk isn't wrong. After all, Jesus said we must become like children to gain heaven. Why not a little bit of child-like heaven right now? Great post and a good reminder that our adult responsibilities should dictate every aspect of our lives, keeping us from enjoying the good stuff.

Kelli said...

Your a mother, not dead. What better way to teach your children to live and have fun than to be willing to do these things yourself. Your parents raised you and you still talk to them so I'm assuming they didn't do a half bad job. Your children were safe and you are lucky to have a brother to remind you to have fun!

Michelle said...

I'm the same way as you now that I'm a mom. I tell my husband I used to be a risk taker. I was the craziest of my siblings. He doesn't believe me.

I'm now a chicken. I'm afraid I'll get hurt or worse. Yes we need to think of our children and not be too reckless. It's not only avoiding the the dangerous for me. I rarely make time for fun. I'm usually in protective or care taker mode.

Thanks for the reminder to have fun. Our kids love to see us have fun,and so do our husbands.

Debbie said...

Loved the way you were able to segway between your adult-hood reluctance and on-looking role with that of your child. Brilliant parallels. Thank goodness for our mentors of delight who take our hand and walk us into the laughter and the power of our own capabilities.

Nice to have met you thru WeTeach.

Kellee said...

Great post, Callie! Loved the video clip....ahhhhhhhhh.