Saturday, January 12, 2013

New Year's Resolution

“WALK!” I yell, but my words fall on deaf ears as they literally seem to erupt out of the school doors. Did you tiny people never hear of Johnny Cash? Walk the Line! What, no toddler geometry today?! The shortest distance between two points is a straight line! My words are pointless. My children literally just seem incapable of doing this. The best way I can describe them is like two inebriated octopuses – a gaggle of arms and legs moving in every direction at all times, never at any one time moving in a straight line. This used to and often continues to frustrate me to no end. I mean, how long do you think it takes to get from the front door of a preschool to your parking spot? One minute, maybe two? Let’s say five if you are really taking your time.

Now, let’s put on your Dylan and Ruby world-view goggles. As you exit there is a relatively innocuous storage box that I swear no other human ever notices or touches but that Ruby feels compelled to climb up on so that she can take in the world from the top of it. That takes about three minutes – one minute up and down and one minute of reflection on top of her private mountain. There is a moment to identify and point out every piece of litter left in the parking lot and discuss what it is, why it’s there, and the possible motivation behind the alleged litterer. This takes approximately five to ten minutes while we review the fork in the snow, the blue gum, and the used tissue.
There is the pointing out and touching of the alleged rose bushes outside the preschool as we approach the parking lot which Dylan claims are poisonous thorns but I suspect are just shriveled buds of a much more innocuous flower biding its time for an early spring. And last but certainly not least, there is the fastidious rock collection. We must spend at least five minutes collecting rocks of various shapes and sizes because…. actually, I don’t know why we collect the rocks. Sometimes they claim they are precious jewels. Or perhaps they are trying to create a mini Stonehenge in my Ford. What are we up to here? Twenty minutes? But wait – we still have to shimmy up the base of the lampposts because my children appear to be part-monkey. That’s at least another five. I’d walk to the playground at the other end of the lot, but that would take so long that Dylan would age out of the experience before we get there.
Thirty minutes later, we reach my car. I’m sweating. I’m holding 2 backpacks and 20 rocks, imploring Ruby to get off the lamppost while I promise Dylan that he will survive his brush with the poison thorns. Finally, we head home. It makes me nuts. It makes me frazzled. I feel the eyes and judgment of other parents who calmly walk their children to their cars, staring at my kids like crazed Von Trapp children swinging from the trees in clothes made from drapes.
But this year, I resolve to be different. I  resolve to step outside of myself, outside of my own personal and mommy comfort zone and realize – what am I rushing us toward? Maybe they are actually right (please never tell them this). It’s about the journey, not the destination. It’s about finding beauty and perspective and imagining greatness among the plainest of paths.  And so – my new year’s resolution is to be more like them: to move more slowly, ask more questions, and look for roses and mountains and possibilities around every corner, storage box and lamppost. So here’s to you my two little inebriated octopuses – happy new year you curious little nuts! Let’s tackle this next crooked path together…

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