The Perfect Day
In the morning the kids and I went outside to feed and plant the grass. The earth had been rained and stomped on, so the soil was packed hard. We methodically spread the food and then the strange blue grass seeds over our great weedy and mossy backyard. The blue seeds remind me of the little slithering magical green creatures that were given to James to save him from his nasty Aunts in James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl. They were unnatural in color and seemed to posses a potency from that.
Then we went downtown for water and CrossFit, and in the afternoon we rigged up a basket pulley system from an inside window to the outside of the house. They played together outdoors for over 2 hours.
To watch young kids play is one thing. To watch them cooperate and problem solve is another entirely. I kept thinking, YES, this is it! This is what people talk about when they talk about the magic and freedom of childhood. (I was a worried child, so I’ve been using my adult life to catch up on play). A feeling of relief washes over me. They are gonna be ok when they grow up.
What directly follows is something like this:
I’m such a good parent for giving them this opportunity.
How do I make this happen again, every day?!
This is how our life should be.
It’s my fault this doesn’t happen every day.
I feel so relieved and grateful for this moment.
I want to offer myself an allowance of compassion. A sustained release of kindness injected into my every day life. Because isn’t it the other moments that there are more of? The ones that seem unpleasant or just getting by? I struggle a lot some days to simply stay present and connected with the kids as they shift through time and space with their bizarro logic-growing brains. For my personality and temperament, I need lots of physical and mental space to maintaining my own equilibrium. Currently neither of those things are in high availability, so I’ll return to this perfect day. Where the kids were so tired from playing and growing and moving outdoors that they *almost* went right to bed. And they slept through the whole night. Both of them.
I guess what I’m getting at is that the balance comes with finding relief in the middle of the shitty part, not just after it has passed. It’s ok if the perfect day never happens again. It was beautiful and that will sustain me for a while on memory alone. For now, I’ll continue to cultivate a posh sense of self-care in the uber close quarters of my physical life. And grow my capacity to find treasures under the moss and weeds of everyday life.