Three things I wish I could bottle for later: summer sunshine, the restorative powers of vacation sleep, and the energy of a child. Probably in that order. I crave sunlight. I love sleep. And with every passing year, it takes more energy than I naturally have to carry me through the day.
I don’t want the constant energy of a child. I’m not really a high energy person. I just want to bottle their non-caffeinated all natural enthusiasm so I can partake of little sips when this dilapated body needs some. An infusion of kid energy combined with the wisdom of years of experience would possibly enable me to complete everything that my caffeine-hyped morning self put on my to-do list.
Yesterday, three grandkids paid a brief visit while desperate momma bought groceries. In anticipation of their visit, I stopped my activities early to put my feet up with an iced Kahlua coffee and a couple of non-pareils. (French note: non-pareil means “no equal” and I’m telling you there is no equal to one or two quality dark-chocolate non-pareils with a tall iced coffee laced with a splash of Kahlua.) Life got even better when hubby walked in early from work. Back-up.
See, the eleven-year-old has two speeds: hypnotic, technology-induced coma and hyper-adrenaline laced activity, which usually involves adult supervision and/or tickets to a theme park, but can be temporarily assuaged with a fidget spinner. Prior to PopPop’s arrival his choice of activity was going to be a new book I bought. He actually flipped through it and grunted tentative approval. Actual reading will likely require a sleep-over which he not so subtly hinted at. But PopPop introduced a new level of engagement: driving lessons on the zero-turn mower. Do you want to see a fidget spinning kid toss aside the fidget spinner? Put him on a piece of heavy machinery and let him drive. He was in seventh heaven. The trick will be to channel his enthusiasm into mowing all the grass. I’m pretty sure money will be involved. The kid is a mercenary when it comes to money.
Meanwhile, his three (and a half!) year old sister watched from the screen porch, dying to drive the kiddie tractor. There was no way I was letting her out in the yard to get run over by her brother, so she had to content herself with non-stop storytelling to her captive audience (me) while 17 month old brother busied himself removing everything from the kitchen cabinets. His favorites: the salad spinner and crab mallets. Lucky for me he didn’t use the crab mallets on the salad spinner. Big brother eventually heeded sister’s sporadic cries to “Stop! Please stop! Stop now!” Her interest in driving the battery-powered kiddie tractor lasted about three nanoseconds.
Since we were now all outside and little brother was investigating the human-powered toddler tractor, I took the talkative one over to the Big Hill so she could practice rolling down it. Once upon a long time, her mother and aunts sledded down this hill (her mom sledding right into a tree that is no longer there). Now on a glorious sunny afternoon, the hill is cushy with thick zoysia grass. I get her lined up perpendicular to the hill (she expected to “roll” with her feet facing downward as for sledding), I tuck her arms in, and cry, “Go!” Silly me expected her to roll like a log down the hill. That’s how one rolls, right? In a sort of straight line, maybe veering off to the left or right?
No. This girl meanders down the hill like a child going from Point A to Point B in “Family Circus.” It’s sort of a cross between a roll and a crab walk, limbs flapping and body flopping all over the hill in any direction but down. I’m not going to tell her it’s wrong because she is delighted. And if I tell her how to do it “better” I will have to demonstrate. I am half tempted because the day is just that nice, but the fact that my knee is in a compression bandage from getting awkwardly into a car keeps my enthusiasm in check.
But oh, to have the energy of a kid! I would sail through a teaching day with a three (and a half!) year old’s energy and delight! I could tackle the biggest projects if I had the enthusiasm of an eleven year old on a zero-turn. And my kitchen cabinets would look great if I tackled them with the reckless abandon of a toddler. Add a splash of summer sun and some stored up slumber, I could take on winter.
Well, that’s not going to happen. The best I can do is store up memories. Consider it done.