While traveling with my 4 year old we were both pleased to find a HUGE indoor playground. Now he can maneuver himself around those things no problem but I have found myself at the top level of what amounts to a glorified hamster tube more than once either rescuing an article of clothing or The Boy himself. There was a small part of me saddened to find that I no longer had the convenient excuse to be a kid and go up in the playground, but mostly my aging knees and back were quite happy to skip the experience.
Maybe you are better at it than me, but my first-born, responsible demeanor rarely lets up enough for me to do frivolous silly things – like playing on playgrounds – without a good reason. My friend will stand up in a crowded restaurant and serenade me with an operatic rendition of Happy Birthday. My sister is very good at grabbing the joy in the moment. I seem to need a child to bring it out in me and even then… it takes a lot.
Today’s Friday Five celebrates the spontaneous child in all of us… ar at least the one that we admire in someone else:
Let me start by saying that I was probably KZJ's age when I last went up in one of those big playground tubes and learned that my knees...my knees could not do it! (They didn't HAVE those when I was a kid...so maybe they never could...)
1) On a scale of 1-5, with 5 being I can’t do this now I am about to jump into a pit of plastic balls at the mini-mall and 1 being I can’t do this now until I can get all of the fonts on my blog to match – where are you? Ummmmm....probably a 4, because I'll do almost anything but I just don't want to jump into that pit. Ick.
2) What is the silliest/most childlike thing you have done as an adult? Oh, there are many. Holding hands with my spouse and skipping through airports? Hugging trees (I did this yesterday afternoon in my front yard)?...
One of my favorites was as a teenager, when some friends and I decorated the fault line that went through a local neighborhood, making about a 4" crack in the street. Once we put up handmade signs that said, "Whose fault is this!?". Once we plastered it all over with those huge bandaids you use for your knees. *Snort*
3) Any regrets? Not that I can think of.
4) What is the silliest thing you have ever seen another adult do on purpose? Wow. I must be tired, I can't think of anything. Maybe I'll come back to this.
5) What is something you wish you did when you had the chance? I wish I had gone traveling in the van with my highschool boyfriend the summer after we graduated. He asked me to go and I just couldn't...it would have disappointed my parents terribly. If I had, I imagine my life might have turned out differently...but who knows. And I didn't do it, so I'll never know.
BONUS: For our ‘I told you so’ sides – what thing did you skip doing and you’re really glad you did! I'm happy that I have never jumped out of an airplane. Not that anyone has invited me. But that'd be it.
I battle junk. Clutter. Whatever you want to call it.
I come from a long line of "save it because you might need it some far day" people.
I see this as a spiritual issue, as well as a space / tidiness / feng shui one.
When I am finished living on this earth, my goal is to leave as little junk as possible for other people to go through. There is a gracious plenty of material goods that I consider indisepensable treasures...who knows what the ones left behind will think of them...so I might as well get rid of what I KNOW is dreck as I go. No?
2 AM, sinuses woke me to tell me rainstorm is on the way. Come on already!
While watching news I saw story about a hair collector (! talk about junk...) who has some of Michael Jackson's hair from 1984, when his hair caught fire doing the Pepsi commercial. Gross.
When I am dead, I respectfully request that anything useful from my body, be distributed. Organs, skin, tissue, corneas...and you can cut off my hair and scatter it in the yard; it is good for bird nests. Burn up the rest.
But please, oh please, don't make a diamond out of me. Because, to me, that would be junk.
Are you tired of this yet? If so, feel free to stop reading.
There are a REALLY lot of people named Maud in my family tree. Hmmm. Maud. That name always reminds me of the Tennyson poem...or of Bea Arthur, LOL. But rarely spell it with the final "e."
There are also a tremendous amount of Marshalls, way back in the 1100's and 1200's. This is interesting and gratifying because, even though my mother's maiden name is Marshall, that name was merely the gift/assignment of an immigration official.
When Mom's great-grandfather got off the boat from Portugal and told the official his last name was "Mushabka" (best approximation I can make of what has been told to me), the official said, "Right, well, now your name is Marshall."
Anyway...I really like the idea that this name that means so much to me, really belongs to me in some way besides just through a border official's laziness.
Between about 1000 and 1100, "Rohese" and "Adeliza" were popular women's names.
Oh! And I grew up reading a book that my Butler relatives loved: Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Unset. I need to re-read that...I am loving watching the names from Norway and Sweden follow the traditional naming pattern (Kristin was the daughter of someone named Lavran Xsen (whatever his father's last name was).
Update: In addition to previous reporting, now peering out of the leaves of my family tree are Mohawk Chief, Mohawk Woman, a lot of Vikings, William I Longsword (second Duke of Normandy), Richard the Good, Robert the Devil (!) and a tremendous number of Welsh people.
In a comment to that post, Laura mentioned that some members of her family are very into geneaology, and it sounds like maybe not in a healthy way. I'm fascinated by it, but I agree with her comment that who we are here and now is the most important thing. What I love about this is the connection I am feeling to history. I imagine, imagine...what must their lives have been like? I plan and plan for the historical reading I will do about those places and times.
Also, when I worked on this before I found some real live, living members of my father's family who had lost the trail to us and were delighted to be re-connected.
what makes me powerfully uncomfortable about this is that probably most of my African-American friends would not be able to go far back at all with such a search as I've made. As I noted, women in my tree were being de-personed by being listed only as "wife," "Mrs.," or "Concubine."
In a far more hideous and inhumane way, slaves brought into this country were nobody, nothing, nowhere.
I just finished reading The Color of Water by James McBride. It was so powerful that as soon as I finished it, I turned back to the front and read it right through again.
How infinitely privileged I have been...merely by accident of birth. How indicted I feel.
Over at RevGalBlogPals' Preacher Party, folks are talking about the Gospel of John (6:1-21), the feeding of the 5,000 with the five loaves and two fish in a little boy's lunchbox.
I love this story, for the presence of a child and the consideration of his meager offering (no offering is to small, no assistant too weak). Ah, the immense providence of God as I understand God!
From The Message, vs. 10-14:
Jesus said, "Make the people sit down." There was a nice carpet of green grass in this place. They sat down, about five thousand of them. Then Jesus took the bread and, having given thanks, gave it to those who were seated. He did the same with the fish. All ate as much as they wanted.
When the people had eaten their fill, he said to his disciples, "Gather the leftovers so nothing is wasted." They went to work and filled twelve large baskets with leftovers from the five barley loaves.
The people realized that God was at work among them in what Jesus had just done.
In a comment at the post, regular contributor Diane shared this:
Here's a story from my pre-seminary lay service days.
We were having an evening Vacation Bible School that year, with a supper planned each evening before our lessons. However, no one stepped up for the last evening, so someone suggested that we do a Loaves and Fishes potluck, have everyone bring a bag supper, and put them all together to share. When the time came to open up all the bags, one little girl had taken a great big bite out of her peanut butter sandwich, because she was afraid that she would not have enough if she shared.
However, others brought in surplus, and it turned out that there was more than enough to feed all, even a couple of strangers who appeared off the street (something sort of rare in our neck of the woods.)
So many times in my life, I am the little girl with the sandwich: will I have enough? How will I get enough?
Yes, I mean this metaphorically, in terms of security, money, love, retirement accounts...but also literally, in terms of food. I've struggled all my life with disordered eating and body dysmorphia. My "enough" is broken. Also my "hungry" and "full." In the part of this society where I live, there has never been a question that there will be enough to eat. Unlike in Jesus' time, I do not go to bed hungry for lack of food...but for much deeper and creepier reasons.
While I am much better than I have been in years past, things are not great right now. I know some of the steps to take, and one of them is to be honest about it. We're only as sick, as they say, as our secrets.
If the little girl at the potluck had understood the concept of the Loaves and Fishes meal...that all the food would be opened and shared, and that everyone would see that she had bitten the sandwich...I'm certain she would not have done it. She thought, I imagine, that she was borrowing from her OWN sandwich. A perfectly normal thing to do.
People who have a strange relationship with food like mine do not want to admit it, and they certainly don't want to be seen in public with it. Mine tends to ride on my shoulder and whisper in my ear...and it does so almost exclusively after my DH has gone to sleep of an evening.
I wish it was as easy as this cartoon:
If it were, I'd have been done with this crap years ago.
As it is, I will be pondering "Enough-ness" and how to feel it. Pray for me, if you would.
Well, if you read that post you will remember the line: "I Have Spoken." As in, a definitive NO to certain things. The coatimundi was one.
And 20YO did not want to live without the coatimundi, and (this is key) his mom was willing to house them both, so they are living with her. Along with her other son, her two dogs, her two parrots, and 20YO's ferret.
As a former boss said once, "if you want the cookie, ask for the cookie." And if you don't want the coatimundi, just say no.
I am doing lots of work on Ancestry.com. It's fascinating to click on the little leaves and see the parents, spouses, children of my forebears come up. Thinking many things as I do it...
Beyond a certain point, I don't know how these relationshops can be proved...but there sure is a lot of data out there. Utterly fascinating.
Fascinating in the way that I've always found obituaries fascinating...they are the story of someone you would never know otherwise.
I think so much about the women in these scenarios. Often, the farther back I go, they are listed only by first name, or as "Unknown Adams" or by the same name as the man of the couple (talk about losing your identity!).
They marry often...you can see that as a husband dies, they remarry, because really, what else could they do?
And the children...oh, the children...two or three marriages and four, seven, ten children by each one. My word. What a horrible strain on their bodies.
So many of the children certainly didn't survive...it's notable that many times there will be two or three listed by the same name with different years of birth. Is this a mistake, or did they just keep trying for an Elizabeth or William or Agnes who lived?
As I click, I imagine stories about them sometimes, based on where they lived (Bamburgh Castle, Holy Island, Hull...places where I have been! I've been doing this for several weeks now with my and Ken's family, with very interesting but unremarkable results.
and then...a shock...a real and verifiable story (if the link is true, which who knows):
It appears, in the Culbreath line (my maternal grandmother's), that I am descended from Geoffrey Chaucer and his second wife, Philippa DeRoet.
(I don't think I look much like him, do you?)
Is this like past life regression, where everyone turns out to have been Cleopatra or William the Conqueror?
In Philippa's line there are countesses of Luxembourg and Holland. There is a Baudouin TheBald. There is some Count of Flanders. I am starting to disbelieve this. ...
There is a Charles the Bald, and his father...wait for it...his father was "Louis I the Pious Emperor, Holy Roman Empire." and of course, you know who his dad was. Remember? Yep. Charlemagne.
(Okay, now I am seeing the resemblance. You?)
OMG, one of Charlemagne's spouses is listed as "A Concubine Himiltrude." That's just WRONG!
This is getting way, way too weird.
So, in case I wasn't obsessed before...I sure am now.