Saturday, October 5, 2013

From Here to There

"Skipping is oxygen for the soul." -- Jessi Lane Adams

If you hang around young children, you get to see them skip...from Point A to Point B, skipping is most definitely the preferred mode of locomotion.  

Children can't seem to help it.  
The joy in having these amazing bodies, the zest for living each and every day in this land of wonder and amazement, the natural predilection for fun no.matter.what requires skipping.

The young child is proud of himself.  
It's quite an accomplishment to maneuver that body up and down in a dancing sort of way.  
Smiles just must accompany the movement.

But up around age 7, kids start to notice that adults aren't skipping much.
These readers, writers, monkey bar enthusiasts can't help but slow it down.  It's unintentional, of course, growing up always is...but the average 7 year old doesn't skip as often as her kindergarten friends...except on the soccer field, it seems.

Maybe it's the wide open grass, 
or the companionship of friends, 
or just the joy of a Saturday of exercise and cheering and fun --
I don't really know what triggers it but the skipping just happens.

I cherish the skip onto the playing field...because I know it won't last long.
This bridge from young child to older child isn't a long one and the skipping seems to slow way down as they move across it.

I mentioned it today as I watched my baby girl skip out onto the field after a quarter of rest.
I said out loud, "I love the skipping," to a mom next to me.
Her one and only child was right next to mine on the field.
She paused as if noticing it for the first time.

"I know," she said.  "They love to skip."
Her daughter's in third grade...that much farther across the bridge. I mentioned that it wouldn't last long.  That skipping was a territory in the Young Child Kingdom and that the Older Child Realm wasn't too partial to that form of movement.

As if seeing it for the first time, she pointed out the others.
Three kids from the other team skipped in a staggered line onto the field.
Another one of our little team-mates from the Blue Lightning skipped her way onto midfield.
On the field, impatient to get kicking, little girls couldn't help it...their bodies were dancing and wiggling and giggling and joy-filled.

This tiny window of time is so precious.
And such a reminder.

Our bodies are pretty damn awesome.
Why don't we skip more?

Can you imagine Obama and the rest skipping around D.C.??
Yeah, me neither.
They have sucked the joy right out of that town.

How about those poor people in Syria?
How about Putin?

Skipping is free.
It takes no equipment.
You don't need to be fluent in a language, literate or know any rules to the game.
You can do it anywhere -- although wide open spaces do actually beg for it.

So why aren't we doing it??
Because we're all a little weighted down.

You need to have a light heart, a real ability to live in the moment and a sense of joy.

Young children carry those things in their back pocket.
Adults, not so much.

So, today I'm grateful for the skipping.
Grateful to the young children who do it on a daily basis.
Grateful to be reminded that I have a healthy body, a joyful life and the chance to skip.
You'll find me skipping around the block and if I'm really brave, I won't even have a kid next to me.

Why not?
I could use the joy, the lift and the fun.
Who's with me??

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