Wednesday, May 5, 2010

swimming with my neighbor....

my 4 year old neighbor came over today for a little swim.  i thought the water was too cold, but she didn't.  i just dangled my feet in it.  she did too, then she decided to brave the first step, standing. the water went to her shins.  she told me she thought it was cold, but that it was getting warmer.  hmmm, i thought dangling my feet would be good enough for me.  she said, ok and to suit myself.
then, she lowered herself to the second step, her little two piece swim skirt bloomed out in the water encircling and delighting her.  she was a blue and white striped flower.  this happy sight made her squeal with delightfulness.   she got so happy she decided to skip along the second step back and forth and back and forth again.  once she was hopping on one foot, next she was jumping in big leaps.  after that she did big swoony dips and broke into song.  i am pretty sure she was making up the song as she went.  pure happy expression.   this lead her to showing me how to do   "sasheys" - uhm she is in ballet class.  it was very petite and pretty.  she told me of her favorite princesses and her favorite princess p.j.s she was going to wear to bed tonight.  she also chatted about the t.v. show dora the explorer and a few other ones i had never heard of.  i listened to her wisdom.
then she got serious and asked me if i thought she could go down one more step - the third step.  the water would come up to her chin.    i thought this over.  then i told her yes, i thought she could do that - i thought she was brave enough.   and so very gently and carefully she lowered herself to the third step.
her eyes were very wide - goosebumps popping up everywhere.  she then tiptoed across the step and then back again - before i knew it she had done it many times and she was singing again.  hopping, leaping, dancing flying - all of it - all on my third step.   she said the water was not cold at all.  but i still only wanted to dangle my feet.  she understood.
next she saved a bug's life.  it caused her pause.  she reflected on the time a bee was in her wading pool and how she scooped it up and it flew away.  she said that she saved it from falling asleep forever and ever and never waking up again.
that was good to know -such a kind soul.  i felt safe with her there.
we chit-chatted about other things - her preschool and her friends, her new puppy and her baby brother.  we talked about my cat and whether she could visit her.  i told her yes.  yes she can.
 what's her name? she wanted to know.
"it's miss dior" i told her.
"oh, missss dior", she said as if the name made perfect sense.
so we dried off and went indoors to pet miss dior.  afterwards she felt compelled to draw me a picture.  the one you see here.  it has miss dior and a very beautiful heart and some grass and some random letters.  i asked her what the letters meant - she shrugged, they were just letters.
time to go home.   mom had food ready.
in that half hour i learned so much.  to think that i have been missing all the fun all these years.  i never knew that the key to such absurd happiness lies on our third stair in our big pool.  and the love of miss dior.
what if i went to our third step in the big pool and starting belting out in song and dancing and twirling.  hopping and sasheying.    then what if i felt compelled to shoot into the house to pet the cat and draw a pictures of her and pretty hearts and random letters. 
what if i could do that....that would be awesome.  i feel a little jealous of my little friend.   she can do that and she can do something like that everyday and every minute if she wants to.

i would be afraid to be that way now.  someone would put me away.  for good.  i would be marked as the village looney-tune.
but, i feel sure that if she knew that i was afraid and worried that i couldn't do it,  she would probably put her hand gently on my knee and say "yes you can, you can be brave and you can do it too."   and with that, she would give me a big wide grin with all of her teeth showing at once.  cause that's how she does it.

8 comments:

Nina and/or Ruthie said...

What a darling little story, Lisa! And so well written - as if we were right there with you. I'd love to see a pic of this lil' princess if you get the chance, although you painted a nice word picture of her bathing skirt blooming in the pool!

Dyche Designs said...

Such a beautiful post, it even made me a little teary. All too soon we loose the wonder of childhood and get bogged down with the responsibilities that come with adulthood and every day life. We should definitely take time out to experience all those wonderful things that used to make us smile, like stomping in muddy puddles, rolling down grassy hills, making perfume out of rose petals, and generally finding wonder and amazement in the smallest of things.

lisa mitchell said...

Amen, Lisa.
Here's to not being afraid, and being brave and just doing it all...to all the things we can learn from 4 year olds :)
Cheers from Barcelona! lisa

Tess said...

Oh Lisa, You have had a visit from a magic fairy princess. And here you just thought she was the little girl next door. Go ahead Lisa, do it, you know you want to visit that third step. Be brave and be like a child again. Open up those wings and fly some more.....
I feel the way you must have felt with your little visitor when I am with my cub scouts. Today we made little picture magnets from foam for mommy's for mothers day. Then we played Wolf, Wolf, Bear and Akela says. (As one boy said, only 1st graders play Duck, Duck, Goose and Simon Says; these are 2nd graders so the games have to have different names.) :)
Her painting is very nice. Do tell her I said so.

som said...

Wonderful wonderful wonderful!! you still got it!!!

Anonymous said...

I too was brave the other weekend at friends home, and entered the jacuzzi. Unfortunately, my giant size suit, my suits now have skirts to cover as much as possible, didn't look like a flower more like a barrel. Can't swirl much anymore but the movement is more like an elephant seal. After a few bottles of wine, I think I remember some songs and definitely some mindless talk. Anyway, we too had a carefree evening :)

Thank you for this wonderful blog. I too had a tear, then I had tears from laughter due to your wit and ability to PAINT A PICTURE through your words.

Jacky said...

sheer magic Lisa, what a wonderful picture you have painted of the inner child, you can do it too!

Anonymous said...

What a perfectly charming (and well written) story!

Debra

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