Last winter I did something I didn't think I would every do; I learned to ski. Our family went on a ski vacation in British Columbia, Canada and for two days straight my daughter came in with a smile that I thought was frozen, but it lasted well into the night. I knew I wanted to have that smile on my face too. So I did it. I rented the ski, purchased three half-day lessons and did my best.
The first day was great! I didn't fall once, well, that was until that cute smiling face greeted me after I got off the chair lift. Her arms wrapped around my legs and when she let go, I was totally off balance and hit the snow. (Just for the record, I don't call that falling down.)
That afternoon I spent the day on the bunny slope with my young children showing me all the great tricks they have been practicing. I went to bed with very sore muscles but a smile on my face.
The next day was much of the same lessons. My classed stayed on the bunny slopes and once again, I didn't fall down once. OK, I did fall down when Jason ran over my skies when we stopped for the afternoon, but that doesn't count.
Again, that afternoon I spent the day skiing with the kids on the bunny slope, taking pictures and enjoying the tricks the kids performed on the bumps on the side of the run. My daughter even did a head plant after a rather large "jump." She pulled her head out and continued on down the slope. I still have no idea how she did it, but it was awe inspiring to think about that event. We even came back out after dinner and skied under the lights.
The last day of my lessons the teacher took me up to the top of the mountain. My heart was already pounding and my legs were screaming, and we hadn't even gone down. We went down one slope and as I came down the second part of the slope my legs screamed, "We are sitting down, NOW!" They didn't ask me, they just did it. My legs just bent at the knees and I sat down and there was nothing I could do about it. After about 30 seconds, I willed my legs to pull my body up and head on down the hill. Needless to say, I don't call that a fall since I was in "control" when I "fell". Out of control falling is what I'm counting as falling down. I managed to pop back up before anyone could see me. (WHEW! Ego intact.)
Now every now and then when we are schooling we get knocked over by a well intended child or even by accident. Then there are times when you body just gives out and you have to sit down for a second or two (ok, maybe even a minute). You can recognize these days when getting up and facing the day isn't about the missing smile (it is probably there) nor is the desire gone, the body just say, "We are sitting down, NOW!" I can testify that you need to obey and "sit down."
On these days you might just pull out all the blankets, spread them out on the floor, grab your pillows and spend the day reading. You might even grab the bin of Legos and build monsters. Maybe it is your daughters doll house that comes out and you play "house" for the afternoon. You might even bring your lunch down there and enjoy the day just "sitting down" because your body said so. Or you might just take those blankets outside and spend reading outside, looking at bugs, drawing pictures, looking at the clouds or whatever your heart desires.
Listening to those legs that scream "We are sitting down, NOW!" really got my attention on the slopes. But I wouldn't have missed that exhausting day for the world. Why? Because you don't want to miss the smile that is spread across your children's face; I also wanted to find one on my face too.