(I can't remember if I told you about the time, just before we left the Himalayas, when we were all skipping down to Chinua's concert with the Turbans, and Leafy came running back up the trail crying, with a face that was black with something gooey. "Did you fall in mud?" I asked, as he was approaching. "No, it wasn't muuudddd!" he wailed. And then he was surprisingly calm and cheery, while I was very grossed out (as well as impressed by his skillz), because he had tripped and and fallen in perfect alignment with a Leafy-face-sized fresh cow pie. It was a soft landing, there was that you could say for it.)
I liked the discussion in the comments. Dinah Soar talked about what a difference surviving cancer made in her thoughts about regular chores, and how willfully changing her thought patterns helps her love even the most mundane things. And Sheryl talked about being the Crocodile Hunter, and Tj talked about transforming her thoughts
"to realize that “God is my home”. All that deep longing I sometimes have that I want to be home, even if I am at home, is really my longing for God,"
which is beautiful and oh-so-wise.
There are things that will hold us back from being playful.
*The idea that we aren't allowed to enjoy what we do.
*Self consciousness. There is something very beautiful about sitting and watching the play of very young children, who pay no attention to anything but the thing they are focused on. And right now, there is a man just outside my house, taking a bucket bath at the well, STARKERS. He is not self conscious. Let us all take him as our example.
One way I've learned to deal with self consciousness is to pay more attention to what I am seeing than what people are thinking of me. It helps, especially being a foreigner in a staring country. I don't care what people are thinking of me, because look at the pretty colors! And are those lemon cucumbers?
*Lack of imagination.
*Lack of wonder.
And again, it all comes back to being like children. My children don't lack imagination, wonder, are only a little self-conscious, and don't worry all that much. They definitely have no problem with enjoying themselves. Thoroughly.
I think I have come to a place where I am very capable at rolling up my sleeves and getting down to business. I no longer cringe at my time being thrown around like whitewash, and I do love the creative work of raising a family. But I get the super mom label all too often, the "You're a Hero" words more than I like, because the super mom image creates distance and throws up an instant fence. (I'm not talking about internet space, here, but with the women I meet in my travels.)
And I do reach for my work hard guns all too often. So I want to tear those banners down and be the child that is loved and whole and not perfect. Loved. Whole. (Though broken, what a paradox.) Not perfect.
Full of wonder. Not wondering if anyone is noticing how hard I am working.