Thursday, October 1, 2009

My Safety Box

It wasn't the hottest of Summers, as I thought it would be. I had planned last Spring, that this would be a Summer of massive heat waves, that would send my family heading to the nearest rivers to cool off. But as I recall, mid-July wasn't anything to hose my head off.
However, at the end of August a heat wave came through, which sent us heading for the Iron Town pond. We took the little paddle boat out. The boys sat in the boat, while I swam behind them. I hadn't swam freely like this, in a long time, and it felt so good to immerse my whole body in the water. (Without a little one holding onto me).
My limbs stretched and reached, as far they could go. My breath was fast and pulsing, as I raced through the ripples of current, left behind by the boat. I dove down and opened my eyes. Yellow/green was all I could see.
I did freestyle strokes, side strokes, frog kicks, and dolphin spins, until I was completely out of breath. As I emerged from one of my dives I had this huge, permanent smile on my face. Then I felt something that I haven't felt in a long time and it shocked me! I felt pure bliss. It was a sudden sensation and it didn't last long, but I felt it! I had forgotten how much I loved swimming, and for a tiny instant I was reminded of how blissfully happy it makes me.

I grew up swimming. We lived across the street from the beach and the ocean was my sanctuary. I recall so many evenings where I would just swim, and swim, until the sun went down. I could often see my Mom cooking dinner in the window, and sometimes that was enough to lure me in, but otherwise, I lived in the ocean. Swimming was always the one thing that made me so blissfully happy that I didn't need much else to survive.

Feeling that pure sensation made me think that there are so many things I don't do anymore, that I love. There are so many things I have pushed aside, forgotten, and let go of, to make room for my family.
Instead of free-swimming, I am now teaching my son how to kick and blow bubbles under water.
Instead of going out dancing, I am showing my kids my funky moves on the living room floor, (as they laugh hysterically at me).
Instead of surfing, I am teaching my kids the ways of the wilderness; camping, hiking, exploring, and learning about animals.
Instead of taking an aerobics class, I am doing workout videos and chasing my kids around the church gym with my exercizing, Mommy friends.
Instead of running miles and miles, and testing my endurance, I am pushing 72 lbs of jogging stroller while playing, "I spy with my little eyes."
Instead of reading my favorite novels, I am becoming well read in Dr. Seuss and The Little Critter.
Instead of going out to the movies, I am eating popcorn and watching Star Wars for the 20th time, on the sofa.
Instead of long road trips and traveling adventures, I am watching my children become a part of a community that they love.
And on and on.....

It's easy to say, "Hire a babysitter and take an hour for yourself to do what you love." And yes, I do that sometimes, but there are too many hours in the day to do all the things I used to love. All those things that were purely blissfull and self-fullfilling, well............
My heart has just had to leave a lot of those things behind.
It's amazing what a family can do to you.

I decided that there is a safety box that has all these things kept inside it. And one day when the time is right, and I've got the freedom and desire to open it, those purely blissful feelings are waiting for me.

For now, I've got kids, and they are purely blissful in ways I can't even begin to describe.


Anonymous said...

Well said!
I know exactly how you feel. There will be a season for the things we love, but for now it is time to teach those we love the most a little about the things we love.

Laughing Anne said...

I love your blog! You always seem to write about topics that resonate with what I'm feeling at the time, too! This is a perfect example. I totally miss swimming, too. But do I miss it enough to get a babysitter so I can go swim laps like I used to? No, not really. This time of having small children is SO short, in the big scheme of things, I'm finding a lot of my old loves are left behind while I savor these moments of parenting. It all balances out. Surely. :)


Unknown said...

Yup-that time goes by very fast. Just look at me now- it went by - and how come I never saw those photos? Or did I? Love, love 'em!!!

Sally Jackson said...

Thanks Mamas. I truly appreciate that others can relate to me. Thanks for your comments. It feels like I struggle sometimes with finding that balance, but when I deeply think about it, all I really want to do is play with my kids and teach them the things I love.
Enjoy the little time we have with them. :)