There was a funny story passed along to me via e-mail that I wanted to share with you. It sets the stage to lighten up, play and not take ourselves too seriously. I laughed out loud when I read this. I hope you laugh too. It’s called “Dad at the Mall”:
I took my dad to the mall the other day to buy some new shoes. We decided to grab a bite at the food court. I noticed he was watching a teenager sitting next to him. The teenager had spiked hair in all different colors: green, red, orange, and blue. My dad kept staring at him. The teenager would look and find him staring every time.
When the teenager had enough, he sarcastically asked, “What's the matter old man, never done anything wild in your life?” Knowing my Dad, I quickly swallowed my food so that I would not choke on his response; knowing he would have a good one. And in classic style he did not bat an eye in his response, “Got drunk once and had sex with a peacock. I was just wondering if you were my son”
I’m in a play mode for the next few days and the energies have shifted. It’s time to let go of the ‘have do’s’ for a little while and enjoy the present moment. That’s what happens when kids are around. School is out for a couple of days for teachers’ meetings and the grandsons are spending some time with us and the 22-month old will join us tomorrow. We’ll have a house full of kids, we grandparents, a dog and a horse. When they come up with us to the mountains, everything changes: our routines, what we eat (hot dogs – mac and cheese), and what we watch on television – Looney Tunes. Having kids around changes everything. You hear more giggling, there’s tickling, and rough housing. It changes the energy and I love it.
Just in January, since the beginning of the New Year, my husband and I have already gone through our 88 yr-old mother/mother-in-law having to be admitted to the hospital while visiting for the holidays in Denver, our 23-yr old horse suddenly dying, and I was let go from my temp job. We needed a grandson(s) fix. There has been too much serious stuff going on with us having to deal with. It’s time to get down and play and enjoy life and grandchildren automatically put you in that mode. It’s not what you do so much as it’s how you do it and your attitude.
I know each time they come to visit there’s the familiarity of the house, the sounds and smells each creating a memory that something will trigger sometime in the future. I know I have those triggers that flash me back as a child at my grandmother’s: the fizzle and smell of a freshly poured coke, the sound of seagulls and the smell of salt air. Living in the west, I don’t get much of a chance to hear seagulls or smell salt air but the memories are there waiting to be announced.
When we were small, I remember one night sitting on the front porch in a small town in Virginia with my cousins. We were laughing and talking and could hear my grandparents inside – Grandma was in the kitchen finishing up the dishes and Grandpop was settling down to watch some TV. We continued talking and watched the people walk by on the sidewalk and the cars go by and didn’t realize it was getting late. As we sat there, we heard a noise and looked over to the railing at the end of the porch and saw some movement. All of a sudden, we saw what we thought was a ghost coming out of the shadows and up and over the railing at us. We all screamed and took off running in different directions only to find out it was Grandma with a sheet over her head looking to scare us. She succeeded and when we finally came back to the house and our hearts settled down we had a good laugh.
What are some of the things you do to let go of stress and demands? Do you play video games on the computer or go dancing? Maybe you get some friends together and go out and sing karaoke. Maybe you just chase the grandkids around the house like we do only to hear the squeals of glee and laughter when you catch them and tickle them. Such joy – there’s nothing like it. Whatever it is, life is meant to be shared and enjoyed and we all need to just get down and play once in a while.
From the kitchen table - Pat
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