Do you remember what it’s like to be a kid? The excitement over a new toy, the joy of running in the rain, or the fun of jumping out of a dark corner to scare a friend or sibling. I often try to get back in touch with that feeling.
Some people, including myself, live vicariously through our children. I suppress the urge to buy them new toys just to see their faces. When my son was asked why he didn’t want to get his hair cut, he said he liked the way it flopped in the wind while he ran. He got to keep his floppy hair for an extra couple of days for that answer. To me it proves that there was a time in our lives when opinions didn’t matter. The important things ranked up there with the way the wind tousled our hair.
Other times vicarious isn’t enough. I have to get out there and experience things for myself. It isn’t good enough just to experience them. I have to disregard what others might think while I’m doing them. More to the point, disregard that part of my brain that cares about what other people think. I’m not doing anything wrong, so why should it matter?
So this Christmas I received a pair of Heelys. It wasn’t too much of a surprise, they were on my list of things I wanted. For those of you not in the know, Heelys are shoes that have a wheel built into the heels. You’re almost always guaranteed to see some kid gliding through the local Target on a pair. And in case you didn’t already gather, they make them in adult sizes, too. The day I opened them, my five-year-old nephew showed me how to use them and didn’t think it odd in the least.
I been practicing most weekends. I gotta tell you. My shins (not my calves) were killing me. The way you roll on the wheels, you have to keep your toes pointed up. Not too high or you’ll drag your heel and not too low or your toes will drop, bringing you to a sudden and complete stop. When you’re not rolling, you have to make sure your weight is on your toes so your feet don’t roll out from under you. I took a couple good falls until I got a bright idea.
Under the guise of taking the family for a walk, I used the baby’s stroller like training wheels. That was a good day. I can only imagine what faces I might have gotten from onlookers or people passing by in their cars. While I was in that moment I didn’t care. I learned a valuable lesson that day.
I like the way the wind flops my hair when I roll down the street.