We were walking through a big box store when my seven-year old spotted a large display for “5-hour energy” supplement.
“I need that!” he said, tugging on my shirt to make sure that I heard his plea.
“There is no world in which a boy your age needs more energy.” A man behind us laughed, himself with a young boy in tow.
“No joke,” he said as his boy eyed the cardboard marketing assessing its brilliance.
“No really, Mommy,” my boy whispered, embarrassed that he had been overheard and with the knowledge that the grown-ups were laughing at his earnestness. “Can you imagine all I could get done if I didn’t have to sleep?!”
When do we lose that? Somewhere between seven and forty, no doubt, somewhere between getting your first real kiss, and getting your first real job.
I wonder what would happen if we cleared away everything (within reason, we do have to pay the mortgage after all) and left ourselves with only the things that were worth five extra hours of energy, what kind of world we could create for ourselves? To see a boy so earnest in explaining that there just aren’t enough hours in the day to play superheroes, play with friends, play with cars, ride bikes, draw pictures, watch television, play videogames, I can’t help but wonder when the fun got sucked out for most of us?
Today the boys were in the pool. Yes it is a glorious pool in all of its blow-up glory. You wouldn’t know it to watch them. After many a synchronized dance routine (courtesy of the Olympics) in which my boys did “the worm” underwater, I had to think, too many of us take ourselves way too seriously. So instead of trying to get so much done in so little time, I sat outside in the shade reading a Maeve Binchy novel (my first) while intermittently stopping to clap for the dance routines.
It was slow and the chores still got done despite not being crazy about it. I didn’t try to write (my kids are way too demanding for that), but I got in a few pages of a book and got to sit and think. It’s time to create the life we want out of the life we have. Maybe it just takes small adjustments here and there, saying yes to much, but sometimes saying no.
Books will still get written, but how I enjoyed just sitting and reading a book.
Go forth this week and if you have the chance at a pool, at a lake, (don’t try it in your bathtub unless your smaller than the average three-year old in my house) I suggest you do the worm. Under water. And then ponder why you haven’t been living like that all along.