I am not the fun friend, the one you call when your book proposal was just accepted and are in dire need of some celebratory dancing and perhaps Paris. No, I am the friend you call when your book proposal was declined, and your heart is in two, three, four parts and you need some talking on the couch and a full cup of coffee.
Over the years, I have slowly come into this – a single goldfish growing into her bowl – and have learned to like my serious streak. I don’t mind it much, in that it comes with great perks: a love for rainy afternoons, a deep gratitude for challenges, a respect for quiet.
Still, life with a toddler flips my serious side at an angle that – if not handled with care – will topple over into anti-fun, squelching these tiny emboldened spirits with my life lessons, clean lines, sharpened crayons.
And so. Ever the planner, I have created a list. I understand the irony in this, tiny pre-planned bullet points for spontaneous parenting excitement, and yet, this is me. I am learning a new way, and many new ways need a roadmap. This one is mine:
1. A bubble bath. Easy peasy, and a certified mood-turn-arounder. Smiles shine brighter with foam chins; I believe this might be in a leather bound dictionary of facts.
2. A fort, for hiding-and-seeking, reading-and-snacking, tickling-and-giggling. Anything is good under a blanket of soft, and even better in a cardboard box.
3. A kitchen mess. We’re still on our candied pecans kick, but raw brownies are a good, toddler-approved experiment.
4. Dress up. On Mom’s bedroom floor, costume jewelry drawer open and spilling out, no less than eight rings per finger. Dresses from scarves, belts from necklaces, as many bracelets as one tiny arm can muster. Then, a photo snap for Dad and an impromptu tea party to follow.
5. Road trip. Hop in the car and take a short drive, destination unknown, volume up. “I spy” on the agenda, and perhaps a coffee for Mom? Yes, a coffee for Mom.
6. Art letters. Mail mini masterpieces to whomever she fancies, from “Bob our tall neighbor” to “the white hair lady at the grocery so we can thank her for the stickers.”
7. Songs, songs, many songs. Made-up, turned-up, flubbed-up. The cure for blues is just one tune away.
8. Dancing to follow.
9. Kinetic sand sculptures on the dining room table, sunglasses optional; bikinis required. And then, dust buster fun.
10. Hair parlor. Many styles await – my own, Bee’s, two dogs and Dad, when he is home. Creativity is welcomed – clothespin chic is a favorite.
Tell me, oh seasoned fun friends – what is my list missing? Pass along your spirited knowledge and I will share my couch cushions and coffee cups with you, seriously serious.