"Look, guys. I had four kids so that you might entertain EACH OTHER!" I said today at the park. "Do I look like a circus monkey to you? I am not your performing baboon! GO PLAY!"
I was irritated.
I had had the brilliant idea of bringing my children to the park so they could play. I would then take the opportunity to sit on a lovely park bench under a tree and read.
But every time I settled down and became even slightly engrossed in the mere beginning of a paragraph I would hear the bleating.
They bleated and bleated and it was,
"LOOK WHAT I CAN DO!"
"LOOK HOW HIGH I CAN CLIMB!"
"I HAVE SAND IN MY UNDERWEAR!"
Over and again a different child would seek my attention. I am sure they had a conference and planned exactly how to interrupt and frustrate me in the most efficient of manners. My children are brilliant.
It's my fault, really. Normally I play with them at the park. Normally I climb trees and swing and hang from monkey bars.
But I found it a very pressing issue to read my book club book today. I Am Number Four. I am not enjoying the book very much. I want it over and done. Rip off the band aide. Alien invasions force me to furrow my brows and sigh in dismay.
"Mama, come play lava monster with us!" shouted Maya.
"I don't want to play lava monster today, Maya! Can't you see that I am reading? Sarah is in a burning house and she might not survive... And aliens may destroy the earth at any moment! There are far more important things in life than Lava Monster! ....GOOOOO. PLAAAAY!"
I began to feel very guilty for chasing my children off.
I began to become angry with them for making me feel guilty.
I work hard to take care of them everyday, don't I?! Every MINUTE, even! I never STOP taking care of other people! Don't I DESERVE to be SELFISH once in a while and read about aliens destroying the earth!? HUH?!
I remembered suddenly the teachings of a Tibetan monk. Sakyong Mipham.
I truly hate when the teachings of Tibetan monks flood my mind just as I am trying to be selfish and angry. Sometimes I want to be selfish and angry.
True love is the natural energy of a settled mind, an inexhaustible resource that we must cultivate... We are not meant to wait for moments of love to randomly arise but to be always cultivating love like a garden... When we practice being in love, we are... freeing our minds from "me" ...contemplating love gives us the biggest of minds; the farther our love extends, the bigger our heart grows.
Freeing my mind from "me". That is what would bring me the most happiness. I begrudgingly conceded the point.
I put down my book.
I prayed one word.
"Let's practice your flippy floo, Maya," I hollered.
Maya's face lit up. My heart swelled and I thought of how quickly time passes. Life flies by with a buzz and a flutter and it is gone.
Very soon Maya will not want to flippy floo on the monkey bars. Very soon her biggest concern will not be blisters on her little hands due to flipping and flooing.
I became very Aware. Of the blue of the sky. The sun on my skin. Tyson's brilliant green eyes. Joy in my heart.
In celebration of that Joy and Awareness I included you in the Flippy Floo.
The following is an instructional video. Free of charge. The art of the Flippy Floo.
I am adamantly against the spanking of children. I find it an archaic and demeaning practice. I have, therefore, come to the conclusion
if you can't beat 'em... join 'em.