Sunday, February 8, 2009

Oh, to be a kid . . .

As I type this, every pair of kids gym shoes we own is soaking wet, our mud room lives up to its name, and my kids are experiencing something that they've almost forgot existed - physical exhaustion. All is right with the world again. You can have your massages, tai chi and yoga - I'm convinced that there's nothing more zen-inducing than a weekend of 50+ degree days in early February. I know there's still winter to be had, but somehow just having the cobwebs brushed off our brains and our bicycles makes us feel alive again!
In true Johnson fashion, we were like a circus bursting out the garage at 10 am Saturday morning. Trace was happy just to break out his bike and helmet, Piper bounced and flitted from bike to scooter to running, to sitting to "I'm bored," all within 10 minutes. Finley was excited to try out all the big wheels that her legs were just too short for last year. And Carter, like the strange, sweet, special little character that he is, when prompted to ride his bike, said, "I'm gonna ride the fastest thing there is - my feet." And he was off. If we were all so blissfully unaware of what other people thought of us, the world would be a much better place. This is definitely one kid who blazes his own trail, no matter what those around him are doing. For instance, as his siblings and the other neighborhood kids were enjoying the long-overdue opportunity to ride bikes and scooters and play basketball, Carter had discovered the one remaining hill of snow. He proceeded to pull out the snow saucer and repeatedly sled down all 24 inches of it - shouting "Whee!" each time like he was riding the Demon at Great America. When this lost its thrill, he moved onto to sailing "leaf boats" down the rushing rapids at the end of our driveway. And of course, then the wheels really started to turn in that 4-year-old boy brain, because after all, if leaves can float down the trickle of melting snow, why can't Carter? So the snow saucer was quickly repurposed as a white water raft. Carter patiently sat 4 houses down on his blue saucer, waiting for the current to bring him home. Though we laughed and shook our heads, I think I was as disappointed as he was when that melting snow didn't come through for him. He, because of the lack of action, me for a different reason. For me, it was a moment where I saw him get just a little wiser. Smart is great, sometimes wise , well not so much. Over Christmas break, we took the kids to see Bedtime Stories with Adam Sandler. I highly recommend it even if you don't have kids to take. My kids still talk about the part where it was "raining gumballs." I guess my point is that sometimes I wish as adults we had even a fraction of the boundless optimism and imagination as when we were kids. But if the world has jaded me in some ways and I've had to turn into a grown-up, I thank God every day for these four funny little people who each day let me see things through their eyes. I don't need rose-colored glasses, I'll just sneak a glimpse via my kids. Here's hoping everyone is ending this weekend with lungs full of fresh air, and a spring in their step. If we can just make it through Monday, Tuesday promises to be beautiful too.

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