Monday, August 13, 2007

chasing waterfalls

We took M to a place full of gardens and flowers and kid friendly natureish things yesterday. There was a gigantic manmade (although very natural looking) waterfall with a path that went around and behind the waterfall and during one section it allowed for much wetness. M and I went along the path and when we got to that part we ran through it quickly with heads down to avoid the water hitting us directly in our faces. As I looked back I noticed everyone else running through that part too, heads down. I turned to M and said you know, that's the part when we should be looking up instead of down because I bet the view is amazing. M agreed and so we went back around and when we got to the brink of the falls I picked her up and said ok, now look up into the water. i bet everyone misses this part. And we stood in the middle of the downpour with people running around us in a hurry to move through and we looked through the falls into the sky with water crashing down on our faces and M laughing hysterically. She loved it so much we did it two more times and were completely soaked.

And it struck me then that I spend a lot of time looking down when I should be looking up and I wonder how many waterfalls I am missing. And while it was a very small thing it made me want to try harder with M in those moments, to show her the other way around. It's easier to avoid the wet parts out of a desire to stay neat and clean and dry and I've decided I've missed so much beauty. And if it's taken me 37 years to unlearn this then I have to get my shit together now so M can learn to be free.

49 comments:

Her Grace said...

I love this post. Thanks for the reminder.

nomotherearth said...

That's a lesson I could stand to learn, and take to heart. Thank you.

Her Bad Mother said...

"And it struck me then that I spend a lot of time looking down when I should be looking up and I wonder how many waterfalls I am missing."

Yes yes yes yes yes. This is why I love you. Because you always point out what I need to pay attention to.

Yes.

kristen said...

i love you for reminding me to always look up.

Stephanie said...

One of the most amazing gifts of parenthood is the second chance we get to see the beauty in the world for the first time while we share it with those little ones we love the most.

meno said...

Waterfalls and rainbows and rain on your face. All worth seeing. Nice.

Julie Pippert said...

I feel like M: fortunate to have you to point out where else I ought to look, too.

Nice. :)

Julie
Ravin' Picture Maven

Joker The Lurcher said...

one fo the great things about having kids when you are older is that you care less about people staring as you splash in puddles or do daft things in the car!

flutter said...

You know what's funny? You are one of those waterfalls.

Magpie said...

Yes, thank you - one needs to splash in puddles and roll in the mud and look up at the rain falling fom the sky.

KC said...

I can't wait to meet M someday. How beautiful and free she will be.

mamatulip said...

What a great lesson -- message -- to give to M.

NotSoSage said...

Love this. Love you. I have to say that this is one thing I am good at but could stand to be reminded of, too...

Actually, I find that I'm too often more concerned about what others will think of me allowing my child to do this than I would be about doing it myself. Sad, isn't it, letting other people's fears control your desire to let your child be free?

kaliroz said...

Thank you for this. I have a tendency to always look down. And then look back and see all I've missed.

urban-urchin said...

Jen- I love you. You help me see things differently. Thank you.

Hel said...

I agree with Flutter. You are a waterfall catching the light and taking my breath away.

Oooh I can't wait to meet you.

Soon sister soon. Until then I will keep looking up.

Jenn said...

Here's to getting absolutely soaking wet.

You're incredible.

And your hair looks fantastic when it's damp like that.

painted maypole said...

How many times as a parent have I thought "I don't want to do that, I might get wet/dirty/hot/cold" But when I give up on that, and just enjoy, i never regret it. But it's a lesson I have to keep learning.

Redneck Mommy said...

This is why I love kids.

They are the most succint and pressing reminder to live, love and enjoy.

Enjoy your waterfalls, love.

Wayfarer Scientista said...

I had a similiar experience this weekend with all of the exchange students. There was a trampoline in the yard and none of them had ever been on one but they were afraid to run across teh wet grass in their socks and I said "consider this one of those things to do that is new this year and that you will regret not doing" and I ran over the grass to show them. As they followed me with trepidation one boy said "but you didn't mean things like that did you?" and I told him "it all counts, every bit of it and after all, socks can be washed". And they had a lovely time on the trampoline.

Amy York said...

You truly are a very talented writer... Thank you for helping me remember to look up. :)

Lawyer Mama said...

OH yes, I needed that reminder today. Thanks, Jen!

Anjali said...

This post gives a whole new meaning to the words, "chin up." Thanks for that!

slouching mom said...

Yes. Yes. And yes.
That's all.

AmandaD said...

Keeping chins up, for strength and for wonder. Bravo M, bravo!

thailandchani said...

I like this idea... of not always being quite so self-protective.


Peace,

~chani

Tabba said...

i loved this.

and it is so true.

so, so true.

FENICLE said...

AGH! You did get wet. Probably wetter then me. But sometimes you have to look up & get soaked to see what's truly beautiful in life.

Denguy said...

You and me both, sister.

Jennifer said...

Ahhh. Yes. And thank you.

Pgoodness said...

Any chance you could quit blogging what I'm thinking on any given day? Nah, never mind - you write it so much more beautifully and clearly than I! Seriously, was JUST at dinner talking to girlfriend about slowing down and enjoying simple things with our kids. Love your post and reminder.

Mean Mommy said...

Beautiful moment, beautiful post. I liked it so much I posted it at Mommy Blog Roundup, a site that features the best mommy blog posts I (and others) come across. I give authors full credit, of course, and all posts link back to their original sources. Let me know if you'd rather I take it down!

http://mommyblogroundup.blogspot.com/

liv said...

You, my love, have already set her so very free. I hope you know that.

mitzh said...

oh, this post made me cry..

Thank you for being an inspiration to all of us...

bgirl said...

love this post jen.

so often as adults we just 'do as we do' sadly without even pausing to think about it. having a little one, slows things down just enough for us to pause and choose a different path -- one of freedom.

Orangeblossoms said...

"learn to be free...." love this! It's the getting my shit together part that's so hard!

ewe are here said...

Brilliant. We all need to look up more... there's so much out there that would otherwise go unnoticed.

I do try to look up as I'm wandering around town with my wee ones. I'm always amazed at the things I'd missed on previous walks...

Oh, The Joys said...

Amens and hallelujahs! Naturish wetness!

Beck said...

Lovely.

Kyla said...

This is why I walk through the rain. The water isn't going to hurt you and the experience of it is wonderful if you only take the time.

Aliki2006 said...

I can't imagine what I would do without kids--they remind me to do so much, to be so much.

Mrs. Chicky said...

I'm so in love with you right now.

Sigh.

J Fife said...

Taking a look at life from a different angle - that's what I love about your approach to life. I'll tilt my head and hope to get wet and messy today. Waterfalls are all around us.

carrie said...

Something we all need to do more of.

Well done!

Carrie

QT said...

jen, you are so amazing!

Seriously, I love this post. Very appropos. You two are lucky to have each other - truly.

Seattle Mamacita said...

i can picture this moment and it makes me smile what a lucky girl M is....

jennifer said...

Getting dirty, wet, messy is almost always the result of really living. A beautiful story.
Thanks for visiting me, I like it here too very much!

Momish said...

I am sure M will be looking to the heavens and soaking up waterfalls all her life thanks to your wonderful spirit!

Susanne said...

Thank you for the reminder. I probably would have given the whole waterfall a wide berth to not get wet in any way. I'll go and un-learn that.