My daughter had a meeting last Tuesday so I took g-baby Claire to her music class.
Cassie warned me that Claire’s music class MO is to take everything out of the diaper bag and bring it to her. Claire loves to go through my purse, too, so of course she brought me its contents throughout the class, too, until I got smart and put it up. (Remember, I was a mother of toddlers a LONG time ago. I’m a little rusty. My “duh” moment came when Claire called our veterinarian’s office on my cell phone. I hate telling Claire “no,” but I feared a long-distance call to Japan.)
In between diaper bag/purse mining, Claire and I sang songs, played tambourines, castanets and bells (I felt like Stevie Nicks for a moment), and we danced. A lot. I didn’t work out that day, but after 60 minutes of bopping, twisting, and lifting a 17-month-old kid, I had an idea for a new workout video: “The Grammy and Claire Dance and Sing Until Grammy Is Pooped Workout.”
Reason #493 why I am so devoted to maintenance: I’d have been WAY more pooped out 170 pounds ago.
Oh who am I kidding? I wouldn’t have even taken Claire to music class. We’d have stayed home and I would have missed out on yet another awesome once-in-a-lifetime precious moment that makes life so much fun.
On the way home, Claire sang the “Me” song she learned in class. The words are simple. “Me” is the entire first verse, “you” the second, and “we” the third. “Me” is one of the few words Claire says right now along with “wow,” “dat,” (a combination of “dad” and “Matt,” her dad’s name), and “uh oh.” Ask her what a kitty says and she says “mao,” like “Mao” Tse-Tung. Ask her what a doggy says and she pants. She’s brilliant, I tell you. Mensa material.
Her vocabulary isn’t quite enough to know what her speaking voice will ultimately sound like, but it’s exciting to listen to it emerge. What will she sound like in a year, five years, 20 years?
I thought about emergence as I cleaned out my flower beds yesterday and saw all the shoots emerging from the ground. As I raked dead leaves, pulled weeds, and bagged old mulch, I looked at my arms, thighs and calves and remembered when I was losing weight I liked watching them emerge. Even now, as I continue to challenge them with new exercises, I see muscles emerge in ways I didn’t expect. It’s still exciting. But I also wonder what they’ll look like in five years, 10 years, 20? Things will shift and change and am I prepared to watch a new kind of emergence, perhaps something not quite as optimistic as toned muscles?
I thought about the Robert Frost poem, “Nothing Gold Can Stay.”
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
Claire’s voice, garden plants, this emerging, changing body of mine. Nothing gold can stay, but all are here now in this moment to appreciate them for what they are right now. And right now, this body can still plant and tend a garden, and most importantly, dance with Claire to “No More Monkeys (Jumping on the Bed).”