Like most preschoolers, Chica is fanatical about band-aids. She finds one little red mark and begins begging for her mind’s cure-all. She knows I usually don’t give out band-aids freely, so she has learned to use my buzz words like “blood” and “liquid” when trying to convince me of her dying need. This morning while I was serving up her Cheerios, she said, “Look Mom, I need a band-aid for all my fingers.” Before I even turned around to inspect her hands, I began preparing my usual, “You’re not bleeding so you don’t need any band-aids,” speech. Boy, was I surprised! Pool fingers!
We spent nearly the entire day at a friend’s pool yesterday…swimming, eating, slathering on sunscreen, and just generally enjoying good company. After hours of jumping in and pulling herself back out, Chica had rubbed each of her fingertips raw. I agreed to band-aids for the two worst fingers (Chica was stunned at my sudden generosity), and I quickly decided that a backup plan was needed for the day. We were planning to spend a few hours at another pool this morning with some of her school friends, but I knew I didn’t have enough band-aids to repair the damage this would cause for tomorrow.
In my end of the school-year day dreaming haze a few weeks ago, I created an A to Z summer list. I had great visions of each summer day being brought to us by a different letter (think Sesame Street) complete with outings, snacks, crafts, library books, and a photo book to prove it. HA! Then the summer actually started, and I realized that 99% of that was out of the question. When you can’t find time to shower and feed yourself from each of the food groups, there is certainly no time for letter-coordinated crafts and library books. However, the list is still posted on my refrigerator, and today it served as inspiration instead of just a mocking reminder that I am not SuperMom.
H is for Hike
H is also for horses, hopscotch, hats, haircut, and hula hoops, but hike caught my eye as the most doable activity for the moment. Chica and I had to hunt our “fast shoes” (this is what she calls tennis shoes) that had long been neglected in favor of flip-flops and water shoes. I quickly grabbed the few other essentials (like fruit snacks and cereal bars, of course), and we were out the door before 8:30. I was determined to beat the hot sun to the punch. Thankfully we live in a city that boasts beautiful urban trails less than 10 minutes from my house, so it was a quick and easy decision about where to go.
Chica wasn’t quite sure what to expect on our hike. She needed to know if it would be scary and if we might see any lions or bears. (I knew last night’s bedtime story was a bad idea, but sometimes there’s just no turning back after you’ve started.) I assured her the most exciting animals we might see would be a squirrel or deer, and this seemed to satisfy her. Those first few steps into the woods were awfully timid and slow, and I wondered if I had been a little too optimistic with my visions of my little family hiking. Soon, though, she was bounding along, pointing out treasures and gathering items for her nature “collection.”
The best part of our adventure was the swinging bridge. In my before-kids days, I flew across this bridge with ease while trail running. Today I’m not quite so brave (maybe it had to do with the precious cargo on my back…Bubba), but I had to feign bravery to get Chica to cross. We decided together that the best option would be for her to cross by herself since she would shake the bridge much less than we would shake it together. She chose to go first, and she kept looking back every few minutes…partly to check that I was still there, but mostly for me to repeatedly remind her how brave she was being. She’s her mother’s daughter when it comes to needing constant words of affirmation…I’m just a tad bit more subtle in my asking though. : )
R is for River
After a quick snack of fruit snacks for Chica and a cereal bar for Bubba and me, we headed back the way we came and to our car. I decided to do the thing that makes summer such a glorious time…let one adventure lead in to another. Since Chica had asked about hiking to a river but we had really only seen a creek, I asked her if she wanted to drive to a spot where we could stick our feet in the river. She agreed, and we decided on Percival’s Isle. This happily led to much conversation about what an island really is…I think we’ll be stuck on this topic of discussion for a while.
We narrowly avoided a group of about 25 preschoolers looking for a place to swim (no joke….one is enough, people!) and found ourselves a spot to sit and play by the river. Bubba and I sat in the shade, watched birds play above us, and breathed in the cool breeze. Perhaps the most memorable part of our morning is when Chica found a worm that she just wouldn’t let go. I marveled as my usually prissy, can’t-get-dirty, won’t-touch-bugs-kinda-girl sat down in the mud and dug a hole for her worm with her hands. She actually asked me to take off her band-aids (apparently pool fingers heal quickly) so she could better feel the worm and water.
My friends lately have been talking about these kairos moments. My best understanding so far is that there are moments where all things fade away and you are truly experiencing life and love and God without any other distractions. Watching Chica play while holding Bubba, his sock feet getting dirtier and dirtier by the minute, this was my kairos moment today I think. This….this is what summer is about….time for unplanned adventures where one thing leads to another effortlessly. This is who I was called to be for this day, at this moment. And it was good.
I’ve contemplated starting a blog for a long time. Today I’m giving it a whirl. It may turn out like the A to Z list on my refrigerator, but I’ll never know unless I try. I hope this will be a space where I can reflect on life as a wife, mother of two, teacher, and wisher. I plan to write about my kairos moments and my not-so-kairos moments. Come along for the ride.