If it had been up to me alone, I would have stayed home snuggled under the heat of my laptop getting things done. But Saturday is their day and so I was somewhat reluctantly dragged to the outdoor skating arena in the parc near our house by Mika and Sebastian the other night.
Sebastian triumphantly brought his hockey stick, a chewed up puck and some hockey gloves. My brother (who recently moved to Montreal) has been indoctrinating him about our beloved Canadian sport. He’s learned which jerseys to cheer for and which ones “suck” (my brother’s words). I’m not sure what was more satisfying for him–the skating itself or the pleasure of walking past the big boys all decked out in his gear.
It was so cold we didn’t have to compete with long-haired Quebecois men in sweatpants and hockey jerseys. We had the rink to ourselves and we liked it!
Mika was blissed out on the invention of new artistic skating moves. (Careful not to imagine anything too graceful, here, please.) She would beg me to watch her choreographed routines and announce the names of her movements while interjecting “without that fall” every time she’d tumble.
It was cold, the kind of cold that bites and burns, but we didn’t notice until 2 hours had passed. The winter world was ours, because barely anyone else was brave (or crazy ?) enough to play when it was that cold.
This morning I checked the temperature–a balmy -23 Celcius before wind chill. I slipped on a layer of polypropylene, I slipped on my baby blue running hoodie, a fuzzy layer and a wind breaker. Then my winter running pants and out I went for an hour long run. It was fabulous.
I used to complain about the cold, but they say what you resist, persists. Let’s be honest, complaining has never served anyone. If it wasn’t for my brave companions in life, I’m sure I’d miss out on a lot more living and adventure. They remind me not to get so stuck in to do lists and responsibilities that I forget to LIVE. They keep my sleeves rolled up and allow me to stop, once in a while, and soak up the sweetness of life for the sake of sweetness alone.
This poem used to be on my mother’s fridge, while I grew up. It stuck somewhere in the recesses of my mind–anchored, etched and never to be forgotten. Who would have thought that by sticking it there, she assured the well-being of her children’s children. It’s a poem that when I realize it or not, guides the choices I make about how I spend my time.
I wouldn’t invite the queen to wipe a white glove along the back of my piano this week, but I’ve had a blast and oooze the kind of affinity a mother feels when she’s basked in the sweet smells and giggles of her children for a couple days.
Here hoping this etches itself somewhere in your world, Sunshine. If you don’t mind me suggesting, it’s worth printing out and posting on your fridge.
To My Grown-Up Son or Daughter
My hands were busy through the day. I didn’t have much time to play The little games you asked me to I didn’t have much time for you
I’d wash your clothes ; I ‘d sew and cook But when you’d bring your picture book And ask me, please to share your fun I’d say ,” A little later, Hon”
I’d tuck you in all safe at night, And hear your prayers , turnout the light, Then tiptoe softly to the door, I wish I’d stayed a minute more.
For life is short and years rush fast, A little child grows up so fast, No longer he is at our side, With precious secrets to confide.
The picture books are put away, There are no children’s games to play , No goodnight kiss , no prayers to hear, That all belongs to yesteryear.
My hands once busy, now are still The days are long and hard to fill, I wish I might go back and do, The little things you asked me to.