Well my brain has picked up and moved out. Beyond getting through the regular motions of my day there is nothing going on upstairs right now… I’ve gotten sick of staring down blank pages and empty computer screens. By the time I muster up the mental power needed to put a few words down I’m so exhausted with the effort that my pregnant body shuts down and instanap. I fall asleep with my laptop balancing on my belly. I’m trying to accept that it’s where I’m at today, as hard as it is.
While I wait for my mind and my ability to write anything at all to come back at least I get to look at cute baby stuff. That helps a bit.
This stuffed bunny has a nice story. When my mom was pregnant with me she bought a stuffed animal the very day she heard my heartbeat. She had a funny feeling about the bear when she saw him sitting on the shelf at the toy store. On her way home, she couldn’t even tuck him all the way in the shopping bag. She left his head peeking out. Mr. Bear became my most beloved toy when I was young. Of all the stuffed animals I had I picked him out especially.
Back to this little bunny… My mom bought him at a bookstore over the summer on a whim. When she saw him she had the same funny feeling she had when she first saw Mr. Bear. She decided she had to buy the rabbit for her future grandchild. My husband and I hadn’t mentioned that we were even thinking about having a baby. My dad of course told her it was crazy and that she shouldn’t pressure us into having kids and so on. But she bought the bunny, vowing she’d stash him away for whenever we did decide to have a baby. It turns out that I was five weeks pregnant the day she bought him. My mom’s intuition is uncanny.
Things that come in size tiny are also pretty adorable. It’s still hard to imagine that we will be putting these little booties on teeny feet that are already growing.
“In the Summer Time When the Weather is High, You Can Reach Right Up and Touch the Sky…” – Mungo Jerry
San Francisco summer = fog. Chilly, windy, fog that makes me curl up and make chicken pot pie most nights to warm me up from the inside out. I’ve been longing for the hot, sweaty Chicago days doused in humidity that I grew up with. The days stretched on forever and I couldn’t believe it could still be light out at bedtime. My little kid mind was blown! What I miss most is the promise of a completely empty day waiting to be filled with play.
The options were endless. Did I ride my purple, banana seat bike in my bathing suit all day? Sprinkler hopping down the block? (That’s me above on the right – how I loved that it was okay to run around with no clothes on.) Did I relocate all of the toys from our basement out into the front yard for the fresh air I thought they needed? Or did I wait for a summer afternoon thunderstorm knowing that I would walk through the puddles with my mom when the moon came out?
The possibilities only grew in middle school – nothing planned, nothing scheduled – weeks and weeks of freedom. My favorite memories turn to spontaneous water balloon fights and Super Soaker battles with my very best friend and the boys that lived on the block.
Then camp (full disclosure: horse camp) a month of summer away from my family for the first time. It was also an all girls camp. I lived the truest possible version of myself I ever have at 10, 11, 12 and up until 16 at this tiny camp in Mazomanie, Wisconsin. I found my voice at camp and owned it like never before. The filter that was as reflexive as swallowing, measuring each and every word I uttered, was gone. My somberness gone. My worry about whether I was good enough dried up and blew away. I was who I was and that was okay. Fear, shyness, insecurity evaporated and I felt free. This freedom to play and discover let me figure out who I was at my core.
I found my voice I did. I know I did. But I manage to lose it more often now, and have never lived it as much as I did then. So I’m adding more play into my life this summer. Clearly my cube-mates at the office probably wouldn’t appreciate a spontaneous Super Soaker fight… I think it’s more about leaving a day entirely untouched, unscheduled and following my nose. Doing whatever I feel like doing, and not worrying about it. (My only rule is turning the TV off. I watch so much it must be rotting my brain.) This New York Times article on busyness underscores the importance of idleness, and it was shared on Facebook so many times that I think it’s something we’re all aching for. So go play.
Confession: I listened to Mariah Carey’s entire Daydream album while writing this post. If you were 10 when it came out it would also be one of your life anthems.