Monday, April 28, 2008

These Things Come in Threes

I can't believe it's almost May already. Whatever happened to April? Time flies.

Anyway! Last week was the Flower and Garden Show. A friend and I went, even though it poured buckets. We had fun. We spent money.

The Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival is coming up this weekend.

The Green Valley Bookfair is coming up the weekend after that.

This spring is really going to be bad for my bank account. I can tell.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Little People

I was doing a program the other week for very young children. We're talking babies here. Under a year. Haven't mastered the art of stringing intelligible words together or walking upright. Most are just learning what the word "shhh" means, if they have any idea at all. So, needless to say, I wasn't expecting the kids to be perfect little angels. Kids that age have an attention span of about 3 seconds. Since I wasn't holding a bottle, a blanket, or a weird toy that jingled, if they look at me and smile for the duration of those three seconds, I consider that an accomplishment on my part.

One of the children was not being happy. He wanted to crawl around the room. Dad did not want him to, and insisted on baby sitting on his lap. Baby did not like this. He fussed, he cried, he fidgeted. In other words, he acted like a normal baby. Dad responded by covering baby's mouth.

I told the father that if his son wished to explore the room we were in, that was perfectly fine. He relaxed his vigilance, and the kid happily investigated. But I haven't seen father or son since, and I think the reason may have had to do with the fact that the father may have been a little embarrassed, because his child was the only one fussing. Which is a crying shame, really. This was a program for kids under the age of eighteen months. No child that age wants to sit still for 20 minutes and listen to some strange person sing songs -- even if they're silly songs. If little dude wants to crawl around the floor and mutter happy nonsense noises to himself, that's ok. I figure, as long as he isn't chewing another kid's pacifier, screaming at the top of his lungs, or hurting himself, he's fine. He's probably learning more than he would if he were sitting on Mom or Dad's lap being restrained while he fussed. At least now he's happy. And I'd much rather listen to a happy baby than a crying one any day.

The Harlot (see link on left-hand side) says this much better than I right now, so I encourage you to check out her blog. Babies are going to be noisy (in that respect, they aren't really that different from a lot of adults I know). They're going to fuss, they're going to scream, and if they're in a new and interesting place, they're going to want to explore. Let them. As long as they're happy and not hurting themselves or someone else, they're going to be fine.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

It's like running

You ever notice how commitment is lacking in a lot of people? Tired of your hobby? Get a new one. Tired of your job? Get a new one. Tired of your house? Get a new one. Tired of your spouse? Get a new one. It's getting to be rather annoying, personally. Have we, as a society, become so lackluster in our emotions that we can't get our souls involved in anything anymore? So, it isn't fun anymore. So what? Is that why you did it in the first place? When you do something with all your soul (whatever that something is), you don't necessarily do it because it's fun, or because you're enjoying it. You do it because a) you know the prize at the end is more than worth the pain you're currently experiencing and b) you made a committment to do it, even if it's only to yourself.

I've started running in the mornings, a little bit each day. The goal is eventually to be able to run for 30 minutes straight. This week I'm running for five minutes at a time.

You never realize how long five minutes are until you actually try to run for that length. By the end of it, your lungs are on fire, and your legs are burning, and you're gasping for air, and you have stitches in your side. And on top of it all, I don't have the stop watch that tells me how long I've been running. My buddy has that. So in addition to being in pain and gasping for breath, you don't know how much longer it's going to continue. The only thing that keeps you going is the fact that you made a committment to run, and (provided you don't sprain your ankle or do something similar) you're going to see it through.

I know that eventually, I will obtain a fitter, slimmer body. Or at least, that is what I hope. And that is why I run. I don't run because I enjoy getting up early in the morning, nor do I do it because I enjoy gasping for breath or shooting pain up my legs. None of that is what I call "fun." It cerainly isn't what I would call a good time. But that isn't why I do it. I run because I know what I'll get out of it. But more importantly, I made the commitment to do so.

Just a thought.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Sunshine, Freedom, and a Little Flower

Today is the 203rd birthday of Hans Christian Anderson, and he was responsible for the title of today's post, when he said, "Just living is not enough...One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower." Emerson (or quite possibly e.e. cummings) said something similar when he said "The earth laughs in flowers."

As spring is now upon us, and the pear and magnolia trees are in bloom (well, here anyway), it's a great little sentiment to remember as we look around us. I'm not a particularly big fan of spring, mainly because it means that summer will soon be upon us, and I'm not a hot-weather person, but no one can deny that this is probably one of the prettiest times of the year. Outside my apartment building, there are two cherry trees that are just beginning to blossom and a white dogwood tree that has just started to bud. Pretty soon, all three of them will be full of flowers. They will blossom and flourish for a couple of days, and then all too quickly, the warmer weather will be upon us. The blossoms will all be gone and replaced by green leaves. So, let's all breathe deep and enjoy the sights while they are around us.

Listen to the earth laughing.