I had this brilliant idea yesterday. I have been inspired to spend more time outside with my kids and pursue streams instead of screens (computers, TV and stuff like that), thanks to the documentary, “Where do the Children Play?” The weather wasn’t as cooperative as I would have liked but we decided to defy the weather and the rain and go for a hike anyway. After all, the forest smells beautiful in the rain.
So I had this image of a poetic walk. We would stop and enjoy nature, reflect on life and all our stress would dissolve away as the rain fell upon our heads. The children would gleefully climb trees and be fascinated with the beads of water that so gracefully laced across the leaves of the forest. The squirrels would amuse us as they pranced through the forest and our dogs would joyfully smell the air as they strolled along at our side. Stephen and I would hold hands and discuss life.
That is not quite how the walk went. My kids sang spontaneous bubble songs the entire way, and the dogs were extraordinarily obnoxious. My puppy, Levi, continually climbed on our other dog and the two of them yelped the entire time while we tried to control their obnoxious behavior. I think we need help from the Dog Whisperer.
My girls sang a song over and over again that they had spontaneously created and the parents (that is us) had no choice but to listen. The peaceful walk through the forest became more like a walk through a three-ring circus. My husband at one point looked at me and said, “this reminds me of when the girls were toddlers and we would try to go on hikes with strollers, backpacks, screaming kids and dogs.” Needless to say, our peaceful, forest walk was more chaotic than expected. It reminded me of camping. You always envision peaceful nights looking at stars as the fire crackles, but you forget about the inconvenience of setting up the tent, making meals and your kids complaining at how much they have to work.
Isn’t that life though? You have these expectations, yet things don’t always turn out the way you planned, for example, weddings. Have you ever dealt with the bride with high expectations and she becomes the embodiment of Frankenstein’s bride? Sure, lets have a nice, beautiful wedding after the bride becomes possessed. I use to play music at weddings but I rarely do it anymore because brides scare me.
Our family has had a fair bit of chaos lately mainly because of the schedule. This last week I had a major event for work, celebrated my birthday, put a ding in the car worth $350, got a parking ticket, you know, the stuff that makes a husband happy. But this is life.
Some of the best moments in life come when you aren’t expecting it, when there are no expectations, but something beautiful happens. The rest of the time, we have to roll with it, be ok, adjust our expectations and move on. If we don’t, we will constantly be disappointed.
We ended up having fun on our walk through the forest; we still enjoyed the time outside and the smell of rain. We enjoyed the silliness of our kids and the exercise. The walk was still poetic; however, more like Dr. Seuss rather than Robert Lewis Stevenson. We just had to change our expectations and realize that this is life.
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