4megsmusing

Posts Tagged ‘childhood’

“Sensory Snapshot”

In Uncategorized on February 1, 2012 at 2:33 pm

It was an extremely rare, warm day in January.  Fifty-eight degrees warm to be exact.  I decided to keep my little girl home from school, not to play warm weather hookie, she had a cold.  It certainly wasn’t keeping her down though.  She came with me to work for a bit, and patiently waited while I did my usual chores.  My last chore was to rid the yard of puppy land mines, which with the weather being so nice was not near as much of a chore as usual.  Of course I was on a timer, as most mothers are.  Squeezing the most out of every single second of the day.  This time the timer was set for about thirty minutes, before we had to make our way to the bus stop to pick up my other precious one.

She was so happy to play outside, and once again anxiously waiting for me to be finished this one last thing.  “Mama, will you play with me?  Let’s fly on the airplane!” I responded with my usual reply, “Just one more second, and I’ll be all done.  Then I can play.”  I sensed her disappointment and frustration, and as I was scooping another pile into the bag, I was struck by the realization that I was wasting precious time.  This pile of $&!#, didn’t matter!  It didn’t matter if I picked it up right then, or next week, it was $&!# after all!  I put down that scooper and said, “You know what? I’m done!  Where are we going on that airplane?”

I hopped on the seesaw airplane, and we flew.  “Mama, you be the driver, and I’ll tell you where to go.”  So, we flew to Hawaii.  I’ve always wanted to go there.  The flight was surprisingly short.  When we arrived, she instructed me that we needed to get on a boat (the swing set) for the next part of the trip.  So, we sat on the swings and started swinging to power the boat.  She giggled at the dog when he nervously barked at us,  “Why is he barking Mama?”    “Well, I guess because he’s never seen us swinging on a boat before!”  More giggling.  We were going pretty high, “Wow, I’m getting dizzy!”, I said. “Why are you dizzy Mama, that’s silly!”  “I guess ’cause I’m old”, I replied.  More giggling.

Then it happened.  I looked over at her as she was chatting away to me, and realized that we were swinging at the exact same pace.  We used to say we were “chained together” if that happened when I was kid.  And as I looked and told her this, she smiled the most beautiful smile I had ever seen.  It was one of those moments.  You know the ones where your brain takes a snapshot.  You will never forget a single detail of that very  moment.  It was mid-afternoon sun, and it hit the side of her face.  It made her glow. I wasn’t just seeing her beauty, I was feeling it.  I was feeling her purity, innocence, her joy.  I was feeling her heart.  I was warm from the inside out, from my head to my toes,  and I have a feeling the freakish weather had nothing to do with it.  I would have felt that warmth on the coldest of cold days.  I didn’t just have a visual snapshot, I had a sensory snapshot.  I have an imprint of what the air smelled like, hearing the squeaking swing chains and her tiny giggling voice, the warm sun on my face,  the tiny butterfly in my stomach from swinging so high, and the joy of having that simple moment. That is what spirituality is for me.  I saw her soul.  I took in my surroundings on every level.  Call it God, call it whatever you like.  That’s what it all about for me.  It’s now filed away in my heart.

(Of course I don’t have an actual photo of that moment, but this one evokes the same feelings!)

(Photo property of M. Fani.  Not to be used or copied without permission)

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“Can You Ever Return to Neverland?

In Uncategorized on January 22, 2011 at 3:28 pm

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Wendy: Where do you live?
Peter: Second star to the right, and then straight on till morning.
Wendy: They put that on the letters?
Peter: Don’t get any letters.
Wendy: But your mother gets letters.
Peter: Don’t have a mother.
Wendy: No wonder you were crying.

from: Disney’s “Peter Pan”

As parents we walk a tight-rope with our kids on so many different issues.  Trying to find the balance.  Lately, I’ve been wobbling more than usual on one in particular, being the fun parent or the practical parent. Of course there are times when I’m a little bit of both, and times when it’s obviously more important to be one or the other, but in general I think I tend to be the practical.  Now that I say practical, I’m not sure that’s really the right word.  I guess it’s more like care giver, or nurturer. I would like to be the fun Mom more, but it doesn’t happen.  I get lost in the details of things, like making sure the packed lunch has a favorite snack in it, or trying to squeeze in baking a batch of healthy cookies for an afternoon  snack, or making sure the play room looks like an inviting place to play.

You can count on the fact that while I’m busy doing these things, someone is asking me to play, or do something else, or generally dis-satisfied with something.  Here’s where the mental debate comes into play.  Should I be spending more time playing, instead of trying to perfect the things that I think make them happy?  What will they remember more, the fact that I made them cookies, or the time I played with them?  Of course it’s the time playing, but will the little things matter as much in the end?  I don’t know. But while I’m feverishly making those cookies, or putting the smiley face note in the lunch box, I’m having dreamy visions complete with “Leave it to Beaver” setting and music, of my kids  reminiscing on their childhood’s saying, “Remember how Mom used to put those notes on our napkins, and make us cookies, and fix our toys so nice!  She was the best!”  Then I get jerked back into reality with another whine of, “Mommy, when are you going to be done?”

Sure these things are nice, but are they as important as I make them up to be in my head?  Probably not.  I actually think that sometimes I give them more importance, to create an escape of sorts, because sometimes I just don’t want to play.   There, I said it.  I don’t really enjoy it most of the time.  I’m really not that good at it.  It’s like the classic movie of “Peter Pan”,  (which I love by the way) and I’ve grown up, never to return to Neverland.  Pretending is now a chore…the horror!  Ahh, I’m feeling like such an awful Mother as these words are being pounded out!  I’m sure I’m not the only one out there, but still, who wants to be that no-fun- Mom?

Once again I guess it all comes back to that balance thing, but it’s not easy.  How do you find the balance?

“Pink Cocoon”

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Growing up I had a pink room.  It was a beautiful shade of pink, it felt warm, and I loved it.  Quite a few years ago in a journal, I wrote pages about this pink room, and by the time I was finished I had an epiphany of sorts.  It’s so funny how you can start out about something seemingly mundane and simple, and it ends monumental!  Most of what I wrote was about how I felt in that room as a child, safe and happy.  It was my cocoon, and where I made the metamorphosis into the core person that I am.

I shared the room with my two older sisters.  It was not a big room for three, but it was my little world and felt big enough.  I found small ways to carve out my own little space.  Whether it was decorating an old t.v. tray table with my own little treasures, or just displaying things my way on my designated shelf.  I remember those treasures as clear as day too.  My Mom had some beautiful old embroidered hankies that I just loved.  I loved the detail on them and the way they felt and looked on the table spread out like a cover.  I of course had my jewelry box on there, a small statue of Mary, and these little books of poetry that my Mom let me have.  I was fascinated with them, the poems and illustrations.  Most of them were written by Helen Steiner Rice.  I also had a scrapbook of sorts on my table as well.  It was full of all the things I liked, things I dreamed about, and some of the things that I thought I would someday  like to be, or see.  There were many pages in it from those tiny poetry books.

I also spend hours watching and listening to my sisters.  How did they fix their hair, and put on their make-up?  I listened to them hanging out with their friends & talk on the phone.  It fascinated me and I idolized them.   I also watched them fall in love, marry, and move out on their own.  I would imitate them of course!

The point of all this, is that it all formed who I really am.  Somewhere in my teens and twenties, I think I lost that person a little bit.  Trying to be who I thought I should be, or who I thought others thought I should be.  It just didn’t feel right, and I wasn’t sure why I was often unhappy.  It wasn’t until I wrote that journal entry that I figured it out.  All of the truths about myself were there at age 8.   If you ever lose yourself a little, or are trying to figure out “who you are”,  you just have to look back at yourself as a child.  It’s at that time that your are pure and uncorrupted by adult fears and insecurity.

It was in that room that my artistic identity was formed.  It’s all there, the poetry, writing, spirituality, the love of creativity.  That scrapbook is me in a nutshell, and I made it when I was 8!  I’m on a journey now, to be the person in that scrapbook, and let 8-year-old Meg out of the cocoon and spread her adult butterfly wings.  And I feel happier than ever doing it.

Think about it.  How does your adult self match up with your child self?  You may be surprised, if you give it an honest answer.  And maybe you’ll discover something that turns everything around for you.  Happy discovery!