Sometimes, you just need to take a risk. To dig out from under the laundry that creates a whole new load just as soon as the last one is fluffed and folded, to ignore the gravel on the floor, to let another day go by before getting an oil change. To do something a little bit fun, even daring. Not daring as in a cross-Atlantic flight as the only adult with two kids under three who happen to have earaches and hate confined spaces. Something a little more playful. More fun. Daring, but with a side of cotton candy. Like swinging through the air with a tiny bit of ease on the flying trapeze.
There’s an amazing place in Boulder called Frequent Flyers – they create awe-inspiring aerial dance productions, and also give usually earth-bound folks a chance to try it out. Twirling on ribbons, spinning on the trapeze, pretending to be a future soloist in Cirque du Soleil. This class was the low-flying trapeze, the one that you can hoist yourself up on from the ground – gracefully, if you’re the teacher and a member of the Frequent Flyers’ company, and with the aid of grunts and groans, if you’re me.
I’ve been spending a lot of time lately thinking about activities for the boys – should Jonas and I take a mom/toddler yoga class? He does love dogs, and being upside down. Would Axel like gymnastics or indoor soccer? Where can I find swimming lessons in the winter that are within 5 minutes of our house, offered on weekends (except those we’ll be skiing), and free? Aren’t 10 week sessions just a little long for anyone under 4?
Instead of signing them up for anything, I signed myself up for something. And my mother – why fly alone when you can bring along your brave, strong mama with you?
Because, of course, the boys don’t need yoga or soccer. They’re just as happy to do our own versions of pick-up games in the backyard, where we get to write our own rules and allow wrestling in the middle of the match. But me, let’s face it, I could use a little fun. Since having kids, I find it almost impossible to break away from the constant mental to-do list that I’m writing and re-writing, the various options about the near and distant future I’m considering, from what to have for dinner to what to do when one of the boys comes home with that green earthy pot smell on his clothes. I can’t even sit still during a movie. I’m either up and doing stuff while a movie happens to play in the background, or I’m asleep.
After the effort of getting up on the trapeze – it’s been quite a while since I hoisted myself onto the monkey bars, and my swinging muscles were out of practice – it was amazing.
You know that wild look of joy that kids have in the air while on the swings?
Yeah, it feels like that.
My mother spun and twirled, toes pointed, better than some of the 20-somethings in the class.
We swung back and forth and in circles, we twirled, we ran away to the circus for a few hours. At the end, palms raw and shoulder sore, we felt giddy, and like we’d earned the leftover Halloween candy we ate on the way home.
I’m going back next week. It’s good for the soul to get off the ground for a little bit, to think of nothing but swinging through the air. My kids already knew that. I’m glad that I got to be reminded, too.