It finally turned warm (again) this weekend. Two weeks ago I got a sunburn, one week ago I was scraping snow off the car and today I am sitting by an open window trying to get some air while the sky threatens a thunder storm. That kind of dramatic weather change not only messes with my wardrobe (I had put away all the winter coats) but with my sense of time. What month is it? What season? Who am I? What am I doing here?
OK, so that’s a bit of a drastic reaction to seeing snow on tulips, wearing a coat over a sunburn and then sweating on the deck next to a snow shovel, but I’m telling you, something wasn’t clicking in my head.
While driving across town this weekend with the windows down I turned the radio to a station I don’t normally listen to – 70’s and 80’s rock (not the 80’s POP that I still inflict on my family on Saturday morning cleaning binges) – and I was rocking out! The warm air on my face and the loud music took me back to my younger days. Driving fast and singing at the top of lungs used to be my favorite mood-adjuster. And despite the fact that I was cruising along at 40 mph instead of the 70 mph I was partial to at 22 years old and that the volume of the radio was unable to completely drown out the thump-thump-thump of some rusting component of my jalopy, I was happy. Warm, free and happy.
Then I glanced in the rear-view mirror and was shocked to see myself looking right back at me! Not me at 37 but me at 7. Bee-bopping along with her ancient mom was my Mini-Me. In my heat-and-music-induced time warp I had almost forgotten she was there. What? I have a kid? When did that happen? She looked up, saw me looking at her in the mirror, flashed an angelic smile and went back to seat-dancing to Heart’s Barracuda.
It was a lesson to me: I can still be myself, I can still have fun even though I am now a Mother. The world will not disintegrate if I let lose once in a while. In fact, my children might benefit from some parental silliness. While I do not wear mommy jeans or set my hair (it would never take anyway), I am a big ol’ stick in the mud most of the time. I have taken my role of decorum-deputy and politeness-police very seriously and my poor children rarely see me let down my guard. But last week for some unprovoked reason I started singing at the table, “Put the lime in the coconut…” with a really bad Caribbean accent. My children stopped eating, forks mid-air, and mouths open. They looked at me like I was a pod-person. My daughter said, “It’s like you’re not my real mom right now!” Then they began to laugh and have been begging me to sing the “silly song” ever since.
So, my journal and I are going on a little journey to reclaim balance – balance between Mommy and Me. To reclaim my youth. To reclaim my former, fun self. I need to remember to put the (sassy) lime back in the coconut because (no fun, over-anxious) coconut alone is not what the Doctor ordered.
Prompt: What activity takes you back to your younger/former self? Do you need a little more of it in your life? How do you put the lime back in your coconut?
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