Silly Steps

It’s so odd.

Where we as adults are struck by a-ha moments.  I could be driving and see an old couple walking hand in hand, nudging each other flirtatiously and that image will sit with me for days as I realize how sweet and powerful love is.   I’ll realize I can feel it at 40 mph, through a car window and 50 feet away yet sometimes I don’t slow down enough at home to let that love seep in even though it’s right there in front of me.  I could be at a playground with the kids surrounded my moms on their iPhones and Blackberries as their kids are climbing across the monkey bars for the first time, or are sliding down a slide holding hands with a newly made friend. And these moms are missing it.  Missing it all.  Because their eyes are glued on what is going on somewhere Else. And I’ll think wow, I need to Be Here.  Because Here will be gone soon.  Or will be something different, something less special soon.

Today I sat on a low balance beam in Hannah’s gymnastics gym as she had a gymnastics lesson.  She’s having a few private gymnastics lessons to prepare her for the new team she was told today she made.  She has a few skills she needs to master to be fully Ready.  It’s a little intense but she wants it.  Badly. So I’m there to support her.  Her coach is fabulous in that she lets Hannah be 6 and silly while still being serious with her about what she needs to learn.  Today when she was told that she made the team Amy told Hannah that it was going to be different. Serious.  No joke.  She’d need to be ready to work.  Hannah said she was ready.  Wants to learn to do all the flips and fun stuff she knows those girls can do and realizes that would take work.  So in the middle of the lesson when Hannah started running from one “event” to another in such a way that looked like a cross between Phoebe running and Elaine dancing I sucked in my breath and thought, “Oh no.  She’s not ready.”  I waited for Amy to say something similar to what I was thinking to get Hannah to calm down and be serious.  But instead she said, “Cute Hannah.  I don’t care how silly you run to get there.  As long as you get there.”

A-ha moment.

The rest of the lesson I sat thinking about this statement.  Realizing how many times during the day I get incredibly annoyed with HOW my kids get things done.  How it grates on me when I’m trying to get Hannah to the car for school and she’s hopping from one stone to the next on the most round about path she can find.  She’s not getting there the WAY I want her to get there… but she does get there.  How Luke puts his pajama shirt over his head leaving the arms dangling over his shoulders, then puts his pajama pants on and THEN puts his arms in the arm holes.  Takes forever because every time he bends over to pull his pants up he can’t see with his half -on shirt dangling in front of his face.  He falls three or four times each night trying to accomplish this seemingly simple Getting Dressed task.  But he eventually does get dressed.  He gets There.

I thought about the Direct and Serious route I take with most things I do throughout the day.  I leave little time for Sillies.  As I rush around the kitchen cooking dinner (or three dinners as it normally is), Tim often grabs me to give me a kiss.  Or have a little dance and a dip and I push him aside grumbling, “Can’t you see I’m busy?  I don’t have TIME!”.  Why can’t I realize that dinner Will get cooked.  I will get There. Even with the few extra silly steps he’d like me to take while getting there.

It’s hard not to smile when you’re being silly.  I mean no matter how grumpy you are right now, stand up and flail your arms over your head, while wiggling your butt and spinning around in a circle.  Did you do it?  So, you’re smiling now aren’t you?  (Come on mom/dad, did you do it?)  I live with a guy who does things like this throughout the day.  On top of singing his thoughts, making up new lyrics to songs according to his mood, and choreographing dances for the kids to do for me when I’ve returned from grocery shopping.  He does all of this in the midst of going through a thoroughly horrendous work situation.  A situation that would make most of us crawl through the steps of our days, not dance through them.  And I swear it’s what keeps him happy.  Does it drive me nuts sometimes?  Um, hell yeah.  Because being silly is not My Norm.  It takes work.

But I do lots of things to make myself feel good that take work.  Like showering (yes, I do classify it as work with both kids noses pressed against the shower glass asking questions about my anatomy that I didn’t realize I’d be answering to two and six year old children), going to the gym, cooking healthy dinners and writing in this blog.  And all of these things are WAY harder than taking a few silly steps to get me from point A to point B.

So there it is.  My A-Ha moment of the day.  And another 2011 resolution.  More Silly Steps.  Because it doesn’t matter how I get there.  Or how those little kids of mine get there.  As long as they Get There.

Perfect Example – no matter how many times I told Hannah to give a Real Smile for the camera so we could get a Good picture, she insisted on sticking out her tongue.  The result?  A pretty awesome picture – Because Of the sillies.


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19 responses to “Silly Steps

  1. this is so important. MY way isn’t the important thing, and silly makes a memory:) good post.

  2. Great message. It reminds me of how I was whining to my dad about how Javi complains about everything, which ruins my mood, even though he does what I want while complaining. My dad said, he’s doing what you want, right? Then accept that complaining is how he’s always going to do it, and then let it go. It was just what I needed to hear!

  3. So well said! I’m consciously laughing more. It’s not always easy, but it changes everything. Now, it’s time for me to add silly steps and Tolerance of other’s silly steps. Even if the destination is serious, the journey can be fun. Aha indeed!

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  5. This really hit home for me, Becca.
    Thank you for the reminder 🙂 So beautifully put.

  6. ShannonL

    What a great post! Thanks for putting into words such an important message. I really needed a reminder.

  7. Silliness doesn’t come naturally to me either. (“Be silly” is even one of my Happiness Project resolutions this month.) So I appreciate this reminder – especially on a day when it seems like it took an hour to get everybody dressed and I was pulling out my hair.

    So happy to be reading one of your wonderful posts! xo

  8. Maria

    What a wonderful reminder, Becca! Being silly is not something I am entirely comfortable with, but it sure helps when you are stressed to the max. Your little Hannah sure is a wealth of good things to know, eh?

  9. Holy crap lady! This is profound. Like YOU just gave me an important moment. It’s funny, we string together a whole series of important self-awareness messages, we learn and learn every day, and sometimes we really do miss the obvious. I’m learning to stop and breathe…but I still lose myself a lot of time. But I love what you write here, a new mantra for the everyday. Thanks for sharing, and thanks for being here!

  10. Wow. What a reminder. I find myself saying in a very large voice, “I don’t have time.” Usually it is in reaction to something my daughter is doing. Silly. Embracing it. Got it. Thanks for sharing this moment Becca.

  11. This is a good kick in the pants. I believe in silly, but I don’t always live it. I also struggle with being in the present during some of the more monotonous moments. It’s comforting to know I’m not the only one who struggles with that. It’s also a good reminder to live in the now. Thanks for your post. 🙂

  12. What an important reminder. (And they’re still silly even when they’re teens – and sometimes I lose my patience. Especially when it’s a moment for the camera!)

  13. Cute picture, from a children author

  14. So brilliant. My resoltuion was to slow down and be more present on the moment. I believe that the sillies are a huge part of this, as is enjoying the one to get from point A to B. Even when it takes much longer than I would like. It’s the journey that counts, right?

  15. At what age do the sillies become irritating? It’s all part of growing up, of course, like so many other things. But you’re right that it’s always nice to be reminded to do a wacky little dance every now and again. (And then do it.)

    And congrats to Hannah!

  16. Kids have their own way to do things , the best part is eventually they do it although it takes a bit long than elders ! Thanks for the reminder 🙂
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  17. It’s tragic when we lose that silly nature. Thanks for the reminder today!

  18. Liz

    So, what are the chances of reading this post over a month after you post it, right after I finish writing about something super similar??? (I’m a little creeped out by the coincidence.)
    I, too, live with a man who dances, sings, choreographs…has the sillies all the time, no matter what. He constantly reminds me: “Smile! Laugh!” He points out my seriousness in all I do. I rush around in life, and I’m never ever here. THe other day he told me, straight out, that I’m never present and within that sentence, actually told me he feels like I”m never really with him and the boys, even when I’m with them….because I’m always too busy trying to “get there.”
    Here’s hoping this month has helped you have more sillies along the way. I’m working hard on it too.

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