Last Saturday, I was fried. Lots of projects were finally put to bed but I had a long list of boring business tasks to do and a house that was showing the wear of two weeks of a work load in overdrive. I set out with the best of intentions to get loads crossed off my to-do list- but by mid morning, I just couldn’t get my “get-up” to go.
My little guy found a big bottle of bubbles, which, as we all know is simply impossible to ignore as a six year old, especially on one of the first warm days of the year. So, I pulled a lawn chair (which was on my list to scrub) out to the front yard, and just watched the little guy have some fun. It was like the bubble Olympics. I would rate each one a 10, 9 or 8, depending on their degree of awesomeness and he would try and beat the previous score, his little eyes crossed watching the bubbles grow with each careful puff into the plastic wand. And so the morning passed.
I made lunch, moved the pile of laundry that needed to be put away from the dining room table and we got lost in a few comic books together. Then, after lunch, we took out some paints. I had a big piece of cardboard that I was intending to throw out, but Liam had other ideas. He wanted to make a HUGE picture for his room. Explaining that mama had plans for a Pottery Barn painting instead just didn’t cut it with the little guy. We were going to make our own masterpiece.
I pulled out the colors I was willing to spare with him (feeling just a tad selfish that I held back a few bottles in my scrap stash) and we painted away. In Liam’s eyes, it was the solar system…. and he was having a blast! Then, he declared we needed green paint. I had none. And, I explained, there’s not much green in space…. again, my mind wandered to the Pottery Barn mural of the solar system: its an orange, blue and yellow pallet, my friend, no green there. And it sells for $150- so it must be right 🙂
But, he was determined. Green. We needed it. I must say, I felt a little like a magician as I combined the yellow and blue to make the green. He was delighted! We added a few more drops of yellow, then blue and he had a blast just making the green change with each stir of the bush… and so we segued into another activity… mixing colors. The mural became a huge experiment of color combinations…. and the afternoon slipped by.
When it was time for dinner, I realized nothing had been done. Not one thing ticked off- heck, I didn’t even remember to defrost the dinner! We ordered pizza, and as I sat down to the table, I gave a big sigh. I declared (with a tinge of the martyr tone I really try to avoid ) “I got nothing done today!”
Liam stopped eating and looked at me in disbelief.
“Mom,” he said, looking very wise for his years, “That’s not true. Today, you made green.”
I need to remember that sometimes what I think needs to be done is not as important as I think. And the little things I do can sometimes make an impact that I can’t even imagine.
I remember a time a forever ago when I was Liam’s age. Mom and I were stopped at a red light, and the windows were rolled down to catch any hint of a breeze that hot summer day in Brooklyn. “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” was playing LOUD on our car radio and my mom was making the car stop and go to the beat of the song. Those days, there were no seat belts, so I was being tossed around the back seat like a rag doll. We were both laughing so loud, I remember hardly being able to catch my breath. The light turned green, and Mom turned it down to a safe volume and we drove about our regular business. It was just a moment. One that we never spoke of ; one that happened almost 40 years ago. But I remember its every detail and I cherish it. It is the perfect example of the simple fun my mom created for us so very often.
Maybe one day, 40 years from now, Liam will see a certain shade of green, and think back on that Saturday we played together. The day I thought I did nothing- but to him, the day we did everything.