We took Liliu to the Seattle Gymnastics Academy for indoor free play. The first thing she said the next morning was: we are going to the trampoline place again (she doesn’t know how to ask a question yet so it’s a statement).
To me it was a fun hour and something I’ll mention on Monday as chit chat. But for her, it must be such an amazing experience that the first thing she knows in the morning, is that she wants to do it again.
When was the last time I got up and knew what I wanted to do? When was the last time I got up and knew I wanted to do something fun? I’m not sure I know what fun is for me! Reading is fun. Writing or sewing are a type of “fun labor”. When was the last time I got up and asked, or decided, or even thought to, do something fun?
No. As an adult holding down a job, as a mom, you sacrifice that thought. You sacrifice what you want to do, to accommodate what your kid and your family, want to do. You give up noticing what you think is fun. You give up asking for what is fun for you (unless you know it will also be fun for someone else in the family). Because you knew the cost all too well: if you really wanted to do something that’s fun for you, simple as watching TV or reading a book, the wanting makes you impatient and snap at your child. The child cannot control their desire, expression or temper. And you don’t want to rush them to that. So in order to be fully available, present and patient for your child, you sacrifice your desire of fun, even your attention on what would be fun for you. You brush it off like the crumbs your toddler left on your sweater.
But these are crumbs back to yourself. We may only get crumbs and tiny pockets of time, but they are important. Without the crumbs, we go too far and lose sight of who we are, and then we don’t know how to be with ourselves any more. And we get hungry. Those crumbs keep us alive.