We spent the morning planting. We belong to a beach club and there was a grounds party today. People — mostly dads — took down the beach barriers, painted stuff, and opened the bathroom among other tasks. Other people focused on beautification of the club and the attached marina. I took Big Girl and Little Girl out to get their hands dirty.
The folks who head the grounds committee are wonderful. They have been doing it for a while now and know exactly which flowers can take a good soaking with salt water and which ones should go in pots and window boxes. Once we got our marching orders we grabbed our trowels and a bunch of pretty flowers and dug in — literally.
Big Girl was so proud of herself. I let her pick which flowers to plant and, after showing her proper spacing, let her go at it. She did a fabulous job. I did, too. Yes, I planted some of the flowers, but my bigger success was mental. I kept my mouth shut when the plants weren’t symmetrically placed. I was there in the moment, too. I wasn’t rushing or stressing about anything. (Aside from the very real worry that Little Girl might decide to jump into the bay.) I wasn’t worried that either girl was getting too dirty or messy. I talked to my kids. Really talked. About real stuff like what roots are for and how they work and why it’s important to volunteer and not-so-real stuff like which color orange was the prettiest and how many days we might hang out at the club this summer. It was relaxing and fun. We all had an amazing time.
Why is this so important? While I was watching the videos the other day I noticed that, while all the rest of my family was having fun on those tapes I often wasn’t. I was too worried about wrapping paper on the floor or pulling up my kids droopy pajamas or where the missing angel ornaments were. (A lot of the videos were from Christmases past.) I was so busy worrying about things that I missed the entire experience. I know this because if I had been there and been present I would have been bursting with happiness like I was when I was watching those tapes.
I am writing this because a smart person told me that I am very good at beating myself up for all the mistakes I make, but don’t really pat myself on the back very often. So I am patting myself on the back for being present today and for allowing myself to be happy in the moment. I am growing. Like those flowers we planted today. I am growing.
What did you do this beautiful spring/fall day? (I have quite a few readers in the Southern Hemisphere, where it’s actually starting to cool down again!) Hope you had a sunny, flowery day.