Today was a day best suited for a visit to the water park in our neighborhood. I had been promising the kids all weekend that we’d get out of the house and do something. Secretly, I had made a promise to myself that I’d peel myself out of my bed as I’d been there since Friday. I’ve been deep within my thoughts lately, especially since the arrival and the passing of Mother’s Day. I’ve been down. Really down. And it had gotten to the point where even the kids noticed an obvious change in my mood.
I forced myself out of the house today and that was no easy feat. However, I figured a little fresh air would help–not to mention being around other people who seemed to be enjoying life at the moment.
I sat from the side and watched as the kids played. I laughed at how what seemed to be every direction they turned, someone splashed a little water in their faces. I enjoyed watching them interact with all of the children there. With the sun shining directly in my face from where I was sitting, it was hard to make out the little conversations that were going on between my children and their new-found friends, so I attempted to create my own dialogue.
Even that was difficult to do amidst all the giggles and laughter but it made me forget about my sadness and my sorrow. At least for that instant. Because in the next instant, I thought about my mother. But they were different kind of thoughts.
I thought about how she’d sit and watch us as we played. And even though we’d invite her to join in the fun, she’d politely refuse and laugh about it. As a child, I figured she thought she was too old to play the games that we played. I can remember a few moments where she did join in on the fun. Those memories are still quite vivid and clear to me. But now that I’m older and seasoned, I understand why she never joined in on the fun. To her, just watching us was much more enjoyable.
Watching the joy and happiness on our faces.. hearing our laughter.. watching us run and play for what seemed like an event that’d never end. Observing the games and the activities that we’d come up with.
And our dialogue.. perhaps she heard every word, but I believe she created her own.
Sometimes I take my kids to the park just so I can watch them interact with each other and others around them. It eliminates me having to provide an explanation as to why I’m looking at them while they’re playing in their room. Perhaps they don’t think I’m as weird especially since they’re so consumed with the world outside that they don’t even notice my gawking.
Regardless of how creative I may be with my explanation, they’d never understand why I watch them. Not now. They won’t understand until they’re older.
Perhaps they won’t understand it until they have children of their own.
And it probably won’t really hit them until their sitting at the waterpark watching their kids.. longing and wishing for me.