Sunday, April 25, 2010

Kid-colored lenses


My son loves to play in our car. When I allow it, which is to say when I have time to keep an eye on him from the kitchen or garage, he's happy to play in there for long stretches. When he's done invariably I have to put everything back to its off position - wipers, seat heaters, indicators, hazards - but it's a small price to pay so I indulge this simple pleasure. I wish I could take that much pleasure out of being in my car. Maybe if it wasn't so filthy. Or if I was five.

So recently I've been trying to see the world through kid-colored lenses. Last weekend we took the kids to fly kites. As we were setting up the string and trying to get these things up with little wind, it occurred to me that I had never flown a kite. Or at least I don't remember ever flying a kite. And I found it to be completely exhilarating. At one point I was actually running with my kite (no wind can be a problem) and I'm sure I had one of those golden retriever with his head hanging out a car window kind of grins. Just running with my arms up in the sky waving my kite.

And this weekend I took the kids up to San Francisco for the day to give my husband time to build our murphy bed (more on that later). My son bugs me constantly to take trains. He loves trains. He is enchanted by transportation. So we got on a 10:15 train to San Francisco and he talked the entire seventy-five minutes it took to get there. The color of the tracks. The naughty boy who was skateboarding at the station. The back hoe loader that was next to the tracks. The south going train. The man who collected tickets. He enjoyed every part of the trip especially getting to the final station where there were dozens of trains. But it gets better. I took them on the Muni - the light rail system in San Francisco or the "electric train" as he calls it. So now that we've taken Muni I figure all I need to do is get a trampoline and I can hang up my hat until he goes to college, basking in my "greatest mom on earth" title. Right? We took it five or six stops to the Ferry Building and got off to get some kettle corn at the farmer's market.

We sat at the wharf and ate kettle corn and strawberries and watched the seagulls and the boats and the zillion people buzzing about. I wish I'd had my camera. There was even a guy who writes poems for you on his old school typewriter while you wait. You just give him the topic (and a few bucks is my guess). I wanted to catch the 3:15 train back home (by this point I was back to wearing my mommy-colored lenses) so we didn't stop for a poem on the fly. But the next time we have transportation day I will absolutely take a moment to ask for a poem about taking a moment to enjoy life's simple pleasures.


Everything's Rosie said...

I wish I could have seen all of you enjoying the simplicity of this day. What a treat for the kids! You're a great mom for exposing your children to these kind of experiences and then some.

DR said...

it sounds like a perfect day.

here in melbourne a city of 4+ million trains are the only way for many to commute. we live in a suburb about 2 miles from downtown (or 3 trainstops).
the first time we checked out our neighbourhood julia was just turning one, we ventured to the local park just beside the train station (it is fenced in). julia screamed in terror when she heard the chuff chuff chuff, toooot toooot. i was like, OMG, is this going to be waking us up?

but that park is the place to be for anyone cool and under 4 years of age at 1630 in the afternoon. when the kids hear a train coming they will all run to the fence and scream with delight and wave like maniacs. often the train conductors will do a hoooot hooot just for the tots. what job could be more rewarding than to have 15 adoring children wave to you and scream in excitement.

i love trains too now. therei s something very soothing about the chuff chuff sound. and it beats driving a car.

Liv @ Choosing Beauty said...

Oh, I adore this! I often say my kids are my greatest teachers. They are here to remind us to slow down, take it in - every inch and every detail - and they notice so much that we don't. When I was a kid, I was really worried about growing up. I think because I knew this would happen - that I'd lose that constant sense of wonder and whimsy.

I think it's sort of funny you think you've lost yours when your blog is called Inner Toddler! That child is still in there...we just have to put the checkbooks and deadlines and worries away to let her out sometimes.

aimee said...

don't you love that, getting into the car, turning it on and finding every mechanism engaged - the brights on, hazards flashing, the radio reset to AM and the windshield wipers going at maximum speed! i find it really funny. most of the time. i love looking at the world through kid-colored lenses but have a heck of a time managing it while i'm actually with my kids. i know it sounds goofy but the minute i put on those glasses, all sense of responsibility goes out the window and then it's like having three hellions on the loose.

Shannon said...

how fun are you? cars, kites and trains...that sounds like the best time ever. i let my little guy play in the car from time-to-time, too, however i recently learned my lesson. make sure to check the lights. hours later when returning to the car i found a dead battery and had to call three neighbors for help. :) how easy it is to turn from kid lenses to mommy lenses, isn't it?

pixie said...

Where on god's green earth are you located? I thought you were in New Mexico!? Am I crazy? Or are you much closer to me than I have been thinking??
M loves to play in the car, too. I'm going to put on my kid glasses today and see what happens. I'm turning into a dry curmudgeon over here!

AG Ambroult said...

there was a farmers market in San diego we went to every week and guess what we feasted on? Kettlecorn and strawberries on the pier. fighting off theh seagulls. Please go back and get a poem!

Dana Barbieri said...

That is so great. I don't think I have ever flown a kite myself. We have one but haven't taken the kids to fly it yet. My son loves cars and trains as well. We are going on train ride soon. And I am sure he will talking a mile a minute. Kids are the best with their natural curiosity.