On Mother’s Day, I convinced my three kiddos to ride their bikes to church. Or I bribed them with donuts to ride their bikes to church. When we got to church, I realized I didn’t have my cell phone and I panicked for a minute. After Sunday School, we rode our bikes to the park. I played with them for about thirty minutes on the playground, we played tag, and tried to do handstands against trees. Then we rode our bikes home. Not having my cell phone was so great! I think it turned my task focused mind off and allowed my fun mom mind to take over.
My kids like to roller skate. For Mother’s Day, they gave me roller blades so that I, too, could get in on the action. After our bike ride, I mowed the back yard while they skated and my husband worked on the special meal for Moms that would begin at three at our home.
After mowing, I strapped the roller blades on my feet and, with great caution, took to the street. I got the hang of roller blading quickly. Stopping…not so much. The kids kept telling me, “Jump into the grass!” We rolled around the court for a while until it was time to shower and get ready our family Mother’s Day party.
The party was great! My husband smoked ribs (delish) and we had a wonderful spread of salads, berries, and roasted potatoes. It was a wonderful meal with family.
Afterward, the kids went out front and played while the adults sat on the driveway and chatted. My sister and I were watching the kids skating and noticed they were racing; but, we both agreed none of them knew how to stop. As we were joking about it, my ten-year-old daughter fell because of a small rock on the road. She hit the ground first with her knee and then collapsed onto her shoulder. I watched it from the driveway. It is infuriating to watch your daughter fall and be unable to freeze time to stop it. As I ran to her, I was sure I’d find a broken bone or deep cuts with imbedded rocks. But it was a pretty standard road rash – terribly painful, yet not as bad as it could have been.
We got her skates off and she said, “I can’t stand.” I went down, basically into a goblet squat, and lifted my eighty-pound child off of the road, carried her into the house, and up the stairs to the bathroom. We cleaned her up and she got back to the action a bit later, minus the wheels.
That night when I got in bed, I was filled with joy. It was a perfect day with my kids and family. I felt over-joyed that I am able to play hard with my kids at a playground, mow the yard, roller skate and squat an eighty-pound kid. Some days, I am not up to it all, whether I’ve just had a long day or am not in the mood to do the monkey bars – some days I watch from the sidelines like most adults at the park.
But it occurred to me, at the end of a lovely Mother’s Day, life is not meant to be watched from the sidelines. Life is meant to be played. Before I worked full-time, I played more. I wasn’t stuck in my own head about adult stuff, I was freer to listen, connect and play with my kids. I wasn’t connected to my cell phone or my task lists. Mother’s Day this year, reminded me that my kids and I both benefit from those days when I can get off the side-lines and play!