Yesterday was one of those deliciously beautiful days. Hubby took me out to breakfast and then I cleaned the house to surround sound Classic Motown, my fave! I went and picked up our 5-year-old granddaughter and the day became even sunnier as she splattered it with laughter, joy, silliness, and innocence. Splattered, not sprinkled, because she is quite an emphatically, dramatically, loud little girl, nothing like either of her parents!
We packed a picnic lunch of yogurt, peanuts, and water and planned to head to the neighborhood playground, following a first stop at the pond with a half a loaf of bread for the ducks. She donned her helmet and scooter and we were off. At least 30 feet before we even reached the pond, two of our über domesticated neighborhood ducks headed us off at the pass and started begging, to Emma’s delight! “Bread , Mimi! Get out the bread, ” she exclaimed.
Faster than the average grandparent, I produced said bread for darling granddaughter and the feast began. We fed the sentries and as the news spread, the others approached as bread was flying everywhere. Eager to satisfy them all, granddaughter crept closer and closer to the water’s edge. No problem if you were wearing old sneakers, water shoes, or even flip-flops! But not our granddaughter. No, she’s a 5 year old ” Sex In The City” Carrie Bradshaw, wanting only the girliest shoes available, (picture in point). One step too close to the water’s edge and one of her pretty little leopard flats was stuck in the muck! She pulled it out laughing and I had to chuckle too. I’ve raised two kids and know better than to expect anyone under the age of 18 to go near the water without getting wet!
We apologized to the duck family and headed back on our comedic trek to the house. She on her scooter, one shoe off and one shoe on, with Mimi carrying the mucky muck shoe!
I truly have no musical talent, but I’ve always appreciated the power of music and have always sung with my children. Therefore, a song was born about Emma and Mimi going to the park and having a “duck disaster”. The two of us took turns adding verses and literally doubling over laughing as we made our way back home. We deposited the mucky shoes on the doorstep, rung the doorbell and hid, in order to play one of our tricks on Papa, then headed to the tub to wash off those mucky little toes. We secured a pair of flip-flops for her and started our trek again, her steps skippy and spritley, (mine ever so slightly less than spritely this second time around) both of us singing all the way, about our duck disaster.
Fast forward through playground fun, a picnic on the top of the playground castle, a song filled walk back home, comedic bathtime and bedtime recanting, and Sunday morning steel cage match shoe shopping, followed by a song filled drive returning her back to her home. As we walked to the door she squeezed my hand and said , “Mimi, I’ll never forget yesterday!” I squeezed her little hand in return as my heart swelled.
What happened to her was nowhere near a disaster, but it certainly could have been viewed as such by both of us. She could have cried a river over her favorite shoes being ruined and I could have lacked the funds to buy her new shoes or had one of those seriously lacking in patience moments and been less than the best Mimi in the world. But she didn’t, and I didn’t and this blog was born. Of course it sounds cliché, but we both simply made the best of the situation at hand. As adults, you and I both know it’s not always that easy to do. Life is beautiful and tragic. It can be all Natasha Beddingfield “Walkin on Sunshine” sunny one moment and heart wrenchingly, painfully, NBC – Dateline dark the next.
We must always, always find the humor in the situation, that ray of sunshine, that light at the end of the tunnel, that tiny morsel of goodness and hope, that gives us the strength to move on. Children are naturally adept at that. When in doubt, (as Maria Montessori so astutely proclaimed) follow the child. Wise woman.
I wavered back and forth about titling this blog “A Tale of Four Feet”- Emma’s innocent, leopard flat clad, large for her age pair, and my sometimes jaded, way too tired and sensible for stilettos (except for very short periods in closed quarters) pair, because after all, I am the said pedestrian that’s blogging about her life. I ended up simply liking Duck Disaster better. Plus the silly song is still cycling in my head!
Whatever path you’re on fellow pedestrians, whatever might be in your mirror or eye’s view, you’ve always got to choose. You’ve got to consciously choose to fight, to draw back the heavy curtains, to push to the front of the crowd, to raise up on your tippee toes, or let someone boost you up on their shoulders, so you can see the real show, the one filled with love, light, and hope. It’s there, for us all. You don’t have to pay to see it. Just follow the penniless child and they’ll take you right to it…
Peace and Love