I’ve been stressed lately, I’m not going to lie. I feel like I have a million things on my plate and my plate is spilling over. I have anxiety disorder and sometimes my anxiety goes up a notch when I’m overwhelmed. This is how my life has always been. Nothing has ever happened a little at a time. I’m riding even for a long time and then everything starts again all at once.
I’ve been feeling sort of like a robot lately. I have deadlines and I know what needs to be done so it gets done. Each day I have a list in my planner (my old-school paper planner) and by the end of the day, everything is checked off. I should feel a sense of accomplishment, but all I see when I look at my planner is what I have to do the next day.
Yesterday when I came home from working on something, Madelyne (my daughter) was upset. I asked my mom what was wrong and my mom said that Madelyne was upset because she had a potty accident. She peed in her pants. Madelyne, unfortunately or fortunately, is already a Type A personality like her mommy. She doesn’t like to make mistakes. Everything is supposed to be right and in order. That is a blessing and a curse for both of us. Sometimes I need my life to be orderly and neat, which means I’m right on schedule. But as I looked at the tears on Madelyne’s face after her accident, I realized in that moment that bumps in the road are okay.
I told Madelyne to get on her rain boots because we were going for a walk around the block. Madelyne loves to go outside so she immediately jumped up. The tears stopped falling and a smile replaced her frown. She was confused as to why she was wearing rain boots instead of her tennis shoes, but I told her it was a surprise. She took my hand, we waved good-bye to Grandma and we started on our walk.
It had rained the night before and I knew there were going to be puddles on our walk. When we got to the first puddle, Madelyne started to walk around it because that’s what I usually tell her to do. This walk, however, was different. I jumped smack dab right in the middle of the puddle. Water splashed everywhere – our boots, pants and even on Madelyne’s jacket.
“Mommy,” Madelyne said, “We have to go home now and change our pants because they are wet.”
“You know what, Pooks?” (My pet name for Madelyne is Pookie sometimes shortened to Pooks) “We’re going to dance in the puddles today.” So I continued to dance.
Madelyne stuck one booted foot in the puddle. She looked at me, her eyes questioning. I smiled. She took a few steps back and then leaped into the puddle.
“We’re dancing in the puddle!” Madelyne exclaimed.
“We’re dancing in the puddle!” I exclaimed.
“And it’s okay if our pants get wet!” Madelyne yelled.
“And it’s okay if our boots get wet!” I yelled.
“Because we can always change them when we get home!” Madelyne screamed.
“Because today we are dancing in the puddles!” I screamed as we twirled around.
When we were a couple of houses away from home, Madelyne told me how much fun she had on our walk:
“I love taking walks with you, Mommy.”
“I love taking walks with you too, Pooks.
Madelyne slipped her puddle-soaked hand in mine. “It’s okay that our pants are wet.”
I smiled and gripped her hand. “It’s okay.”
We walked up the driveway. My mom watched us from the window. She laughed when she saw us in our wet pants. After I put a new dry pair of pants on Madelyne, she gave me a hug and whispered in my ear, “I love you because you are my mommy.”
As the tears streamed down my face, I whispered, “I love you because you are my Pookie.”
Sometimes, you just need to dance in the puddles.