Friday, May 18, 2007

2 for 1

Here’s the situation, we go to the park almost by default. You – our followers – are going to get sick of pictures and stories of the park. I get sick of the park.

Now I’m going to get all “Oprah” on ya. So, I was watching a tivo-ed episode of Op and she was swinging from a rope at a spa. When they asked her what her objective was in doing this adventurous thing she said that she wanted more joy. Here’s what I think, with as much money as she makes, as many fascinating people as she gets to meet, and as much good as she does in the world… her life has to be pretty joyful. What I imagine she meant to express is that she was pursuing the joy of first experience. It’s that childlike feeling we get when we try|see|feel|do something for the first time.

Two things about the show resonated with me. First that the idea of identifying your objective before each activity we participate in brings us into the moment of experience. Good idea. I’m going to do that more often.

Second, in bringing myself into the moment and identifying my objectives I realize that most of the time my objective is to witness the joy Oprah was looking for. Almost everything my children do is for the first time and it is amazing to see it unfold each day.

What is remarkably sad, however, is that some of the things they do are for the very last time. And so by being in the moment and trying to be present during the experience I hope I’m cognizant of the last time I see Coop’s eyes brighten when he sees a garbage truck. Or when Mason squeals with delight so intensely that he literally quivers from head to toe over cheerios spilling onto his highchair tray.

Today was a 2 for 1 special. My objective was to get the boys out of the house and into the bike trailer. Sometimes our objectives are administrative – we needed to return some items at the library and we desperately needed a little fresh air. When we got to the park the boys were ecstatic to see – for the first time – two large lawn mowing machines.

So our morning was spent in the swings – surprise, surprise – watching the mowers circle the soccer fields.

PS – Cooper said something very funny on the way to the library. The trail between the park and the library first goes down a fairly steep hill and then back up. When I got to the incline the weight of the boys in the trailer almost tipped me over and I had to stand on the pedals to move forward. (I was scared for a second that I was going to roll backward.) Surprisingly I could hear Cooper mutter, “Man these boys are heavy!”

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