Has anyone else other than me noticed that phase that all kids seem to go through when they charge, full steam ahead…looking backwards?
Surely I’m not the only one who has kids who have done this. This isn’t like the time I asked my friends if their kids all talked with a Brooklyn accent when they were two years old like mine did (yeah…I got some pretty weird looks then. But when don’t I?).
It seems like most kids go through this at some point. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure why they stop. I mean, logic would say that they would stop the first time they ran head first into a wall. But I’ve witnessed this enough to know…that’s not the case. It seems like they have to bang into at least 4 things before they understand that this is clearly not the way to go.
Now, these 4 things could be spread out over a period of time. It’s not like the cut off point is when they’re 3. But for those of you out there who have toddlers…don’t worry. Very rarely have I seen a 16 year old who runs as fast as they can with their head turned the other way.
And if you have a 16 year old who does this…I would give that driver’s license a second thought.
You’re probably wondering why in the hell I thought of this today. (Either that, or my ramblings have caused you to click on Fashion Police by now )
But today, I noticed my 4 year old doing this. We were going into the gym (I know, I know…pick yourself up off the floor) and she started running as fast as possible towards the kids center…all the while looking the other way.
She just wanted to make sure that I was behind her.
Envisioning a bloody scene on the faux marble floors of my fitness center, I told her to stop. I knelt down and said, “If you run while you’re looking behind you, you can’t see what’s coming. I’m right here. Watch where you’re going.”
I know this is going to sound crazy, but the second that was out of my mouth, I thought, “Huh. What a concept.” And if I hadn’t been conserving all of my energy for the torture I was about to put myself through…I probably could have produced a lightbulb.
Later on, when I took the kids the park, I started reading “We Are Their Heaven” by Allison DuBois (of Medium fame). It’s an interesting book and I like some of her ideas. One of the things she said that struck me was:
“Of course, you’re going to have bad days from time to time, but if you make an effort to share a good day with those who’ve passed, they get to take part in your joy. Nothing makes them happier. Talk to those who have passed and laugh with them again….Love those you love enough to live for them.”
I love that idea. That our loved ones can still experience joy…through us. I mean it makes sense…they would hurt when we were hurting while they were here and laugh with us when things were good. Why should it be any different now?
I still have my moments. I know I always will. Bad days will come…and there’s not much I can do about that.
However, it occurred to me today that even if I run as fast as I can towards life while constantly looking backwards…I won’t get very far. I won’t see what’s coming…whether it’s something to dodge or something to embrace. It’s time that I look ahead a little more than I look behind. And it’s okay to glance behind myself every once in awhile. I’ll always want to take a peek and know that he’s still there, in my heart and my memory (and according to Allison…still sitting in his favorite chair).
But it’s time that I watch where I’m going. I want to start keeping my focus on what’s ahead.
And just glance into my heart sometimes when I’m not so sure.