As I was out on my run the other day I saw a little girl off in the distance coming towards me. She must have been all of 6 and was so happy, and I found myself smiling at seeing her happiness. She was quite a way off so I couldn’t see her face or expressions, but I just knew she was happy. How did I know that? Well, she was skipping!
Yes, skipping! Her little arms were swinging as she lifted her legs, one in front of the other and came skipping towards me. The closer I got I could see the expression on her face and it was one of pure innocence and childlike happiness.
So I got to thinking, as I often do……when did I stop skipping? When did I lose the joy of skipping and instead just walk everywhere? When did life get so serious that you can no longer skip? I started to notice other people on my run and all of the adults I came across had their heads down, on a mission to be somewhere, only looking up long enough to see what that thudding was coming up behind them, or to move out of my way if they could see me coming head on!
I thought about Gracie and was trying to think back to when she stopped skipping. I haven’t seen her skip for years, so I’m guessing it’s just not cool to skip these days if you are 14! I remember teaching Gracie when she was around 3. It’s actually a hard skill to learn. It doesn’t come naturally and it’s something I remember took her a while to catch on to but once she had learned, there was no stopping her. For the next little while she skipped everywhere she went, with a big grin on her face as if to say “Look at me, I can skip!”
So why do we stop skipping? I mean it’s faster than walking and I’m sure it’s great exercise, but I can’t tell you the last time I saw an adult skipping down the road. Wouldn’t it just make you smile to see a grown man in a business suit skipping down the road? Or an old grandma skipping into a supermarket?
The dictionary defines skipping as this: “To move in a light, springy manner by bounding forward with alternate hops on each foot.”
Light and springy! I want to be light and springy! I think sometimes as adults we feel the weight of the world on our shoulders and this holds us down from being, well, light and springy!
Right! I was going to skip…..So the kids and I went for a walk around the lake and I decided I would start skipping. Now I’m not the meanest Mum in the world, I didn’t do it in the busy areas. I waited till no one was around and I started skipping. Hopping from one leg to the other, knee’s lifted high, feeling all light and springy!
“Mum, what on earth are you doing?”
“Mum, why would you do that?”
“Its fun, c’mon join me?”
“What are you crazy? I’m not joining you”
“Why not? It’s fun”
“Mum, stop it! Mum, please. Seriously Mum, you are embarrassing us, Mum, there’s someone coming, Mum there really is, Mum he’s going to see you, MUM!”
And so my renewed skipping career came to an abrupt halt and was pretty much over before it even began! I don’t want to scar the kids for life and I definitely don’t want to have to spend thousands on counseling when they are older, so I went back to a walk and we made our way around the rest of the lake, walking, apparently like all good mothers should!
But you know what, for those couple of minutes that I did skip, I loved it! It was fun. It was silly. And it was what I needed to blow off the stuffy old cobwebs that come with being a grown up. I had a grin on my face and almost forgot that I am a 40 something-year-old wife and mother with a ton of responsibilities on my shoulders. Yip, for a few moments I was carefree with not a worry in the world…..except for maybe embarrassing my kids, but that’s just part of our job description, right?