This carefree pitter patter of life, with a lazy early morning sun, overlooking our patio in South Florida, is what makes life worth living.
I enjoy these tender-sweet moments with a freshly brewed, dark, Orange Pekoe in hand. Moments, when our five year old, tells me about her dreams from last night; she went to visit a cotton candy factory, and swam with her favorite Barbie mermaids – nonchalantly she asks me if I know what type of toothpaste a mermaid may use.
She leaves me to my laptop, reading news of some volcano erupting at some part of earth; my heart is not with this dreadful news. I watch her, as she puts on her helmet and jumps on the new, colorful bicycle, to rotate around the patio. She rings the bell, which makes the dog bark next door.
No programs, no structured agenda to meet new people and make chit-chat conversation; this care-free, early stage of a wonderful day, where life suddenly shows up, in vivid colors. If only, I could capture these moments in my mental celluloid and store and replay, over and over.
I know that in the next moment, a phone call or a bad email may change everything; someone will try to sell something – or will call to relay some information that you are required to do something with. The noises of life will start pounding the door – whether you choose or not.
I want these few moments, all to us. Watch her – play with her – interact with her – and join her world. I don’t want her to know the idiosyncrasies of our adult interactions – instead let’s stay in the world of mermaids, Strawberry Shortcake or Hello Kitty.
Like this very moment, once it’s over, we will step into another stage of our lives. Will we be shifting to a different “gear”? Is this the last chance (in this life time) to embrace this early innocence – untouched by the confusions of adult life? Are we approaching another Turning Point in our lives?
Life, for the young, is fairly simple – playing, eating and more playing. Occasionally an afternoon nap may hinder playtime.Otherwise, it’s an unobstructed play zone. No worries about bills, or aging parents, job security, or economic uncertainty.
Sometimes, I have seen grandparents, playing with this unobstructed sincerity with their grandchildren. Its’ truly a blessing to be a grandparent (and to have grandparents). But even at that stage in our lives, sometimes, debilitating disease or financial difficulty takes over, making it still difficult to enjoy the serenity of a child.
When one ponders this transition of a life-stage, where the smell of baby powder is replaced by perfume, a playful bicycle is replaced by the cell phone, and parents are replaced by hundreds of friends in the virtual world, you also know that you have started approaching that point that no one wants to talk about: mid-life. You are really starting to become, what you remember most of, your parents.
I know I am thinking too much.
Right now, Shania is in the pool with her big plastic Strawberry Shortcake imprint ball, waiting for me to splash in with her. I will enjoy this moment with her. I will accept whatever reality comes my way tomorrow. But today, the music belongs to our joys in the pool – the imaginary mermaids we need to save and the dreadful alligators that we need to destroy.