Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Paying attention

Friday afternoon, the slump hit at work. You know, the slump provoked by the nearness of the weekend and the proportionally slowing clock? The slump abetted by unexpected noise from yet more construction in the hallway and adjacent office? The slump whose lack of productivity is echoed down the long hall of closed doorways, because none of your colleagues has been so foolish as to imagine that they would get anything done in the building on a Friday afternoon?

In short, I was staring at the screen. Not writing. Not reading. Not answering emails. Not ordering textbooks or researching secondary reading materials. Not even putting my folders back in the filing cabinet. That I was mustering the energy to weakly shake my fist at the men in green uniforms drilling the concrete just outside my door struck me as a real accomplishment.

And then, I decided just to pack it in. At 3pm. I would march up to the daycare and spring Ms. Munchkin from the sweaty noise and go on an adventure. While I don't want to become that Mom who pins all her sense of self on the happiness or charm of her child, I was still feeling a little neglectful, Gramma's scorn notwithstanding.

An adventure!

We drove to the big park near to Pynchon's work. Luckily, the stroller was in the car already, but we had no diaper bag, and I accidentally left Munchkin's shoes in the bin at daycare. Never mind. She was really excited and her excitement lifted my mood. I felt good being with her, I felt good doing this for her, this little bit of extra mommy time. We wandered over the bridges of the lush grounds, stopping to look at, point at, and name ducks--"DUCK!! duck duck duck. EEEEE"--and to note all the dogs and babies. When we made it to the splash park I pulled her from the carriage and kicked off my sandals. I stood her up in the cool running water, and held her hands as we walked around. I ran her through the mister. She squealed and danced and I laughed as hard and deeply as I have in a long time. She got soaked. I got soaked. We moved onto the grass and she handed me sticks and laughed as I threw them over my shoulder and out of munching range. We packed up and headed over to Pynchon's office, where she banged on coffee tables and graciously accepted hugs.

What a simple, wonderful time. Cost not a dime; didn't require shoes, even. Our weekend was similarly easy, and fun. Saturday, we spent the day together as a family, including a two hour family nap in the morning, and a trip to the old folks park between our house and Starbucks. There was horizontal parenting, and snuggling. Pynchon made movies and took pictures.

Sunday my sister and her youngest son came, and Munchkin could not get enough of either of them. We went to yet another splash park, in the big park nearest to my house, and Munchkin leapt from Auntie S to me and back. Here we are, soaked again (please notice that I'm slouching like a maniac, as per my last post).

It feels nice to just take it as it comes, to have simple adventures, simple pleasures, to revel in the feel of cool water sprayed on arms, splashing between toes; it feels good to lay in the grass, to be loved. It feels nice to not be so self-conscious. To play.


nomotherearth said...

Sometimes I find the best days are those that we have no plan. Everything is just so less stressful.

You look great, btw, I am suddenly feeling very large. (Hasn't stopped me from eating chocolates though, sigh)

kittenpie said...

Yep, Bobby McFerrin had it right: simple pleasures are the best. Sometimes just playing in the cool sandbox of our own backyard is so glorious. But there is sure something about puddles and sprinklers that brings out the shrieking kid in anyone.

Beck said...

Ah, summer.
I do find my love for my children fairly all-absorbing, and sometimes it precludes actually ENJOYING them.
Also, I wish I was as skinny as you. Geeeeeez.

Mimi said...

You can likely see from the pictures that my main beauty strategy is to cover the wobbly bits with the baby. Good trick, huh?

Nomo, the chocolates are future breast-feeding fuel. If you *don't* eat them, Baby Nomo risks being malnourished. Do it for the baby!!

Ahhh sprinklers. We're on a water ban here in my city, so it's municipal splash park or nothing. But what fun to go run around like maniacs among all the other maniacs!

slouching mom said...


Sounds like the best time. The. best.

Omaha Mama said...

Splash parks - one more reason to stay in the city!!!

I love taking that mommy time to play with my kids - and their gratitude is seemingly endless. I can tell you this, it only gets better and better!

Wonderful post - love this little glimpse into mimi's world!

NotSoSage said...

My heart leapt at that photo of you and Munchkin in the grass. I love those perfect, perfect moments.

Alpha DogMa said...

Between blogs, bugs and bears, we just don't spend enough time outside. Of the shame.

Cute kid. Cute mom, too. When do we get to see Mr. Mimi?

Jenifer said...

Simple is good. We are over-processed most of the time, that I am trying hard to bring it down a notch.

Munchkin has changed! She looks like a little girl now. You look fab, hate that!

Kidding. Sounds like a wonderful time.

Mimi said...

AD -- Mr. Mimi is camera shy. Seems to think his privacy might be compromised if I broadcast his good-lookin' mug all over the Interweb. Phoo.

Jenifer -- I KNOW! She's totally not a 'Miss Baby' anymore, eh? Although the funniest thing about her little bikini top (a gift) is that her belly extends much farther out and is in need of greater support than her chest ;-)

Lawyer Mama said...

Oh, that sounds like so much fun!

Oh, The Joys said...

I love when I find that take it as it comes Zen thing. So nice!

ewe are here said...

What a lovely adventure, indeed!

It really is the simple things that can bring such huge amounts of joy to the wee ones, no?

Christine said...

what a perfect day!