Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Joy of Not Having Plans ...

I have no plans today. There are countless things I could be doing ... including Mariposa Folk Festival, work, cleaning my home ... but I have decided to commit to none of those. Instead I am hanging out with my son and his best friend, Lucas, doing whatever they want. That likely puts me primarily in the role of chauffeur/financier, but I'm good with that.

Reflecting on "not having an agenda" reminds me of a hugely important lesson I learned several years ago at a music festival, Gathering Of The Vibes, near Albany, NY.

Midway through the second day of the Grateful Dead inspired event there was a big rainstorm. When the sky cleared there was mud everywhere, and rivers of water running down the walkways. I saw a lovely young mom walking with her toddler, naked in rubber boots (the toddler, not the young mom - though that would have been awesome!). The free-spirited youngster walked twenty yards and then turned around, retracing his/her (can't remember) steps against the predominant flow of festival-goers. The mom followed along blissfully. Then they turned and followed their initial route for a few minutes, before doubling back yet again.

As this loop continued, I found myself a bit confused. "Where the Hell are they going?", I asked myself. The answer, of course, was nowhere. And that is what was strange to me. There was no agenda. No "Come on, sweetheart, WE are going this way." I realized how often (always) my time with my kids was actually all about my plans. This mother was modelling such unconditional love and devotion to her child and his/her serendipitous enjoyment of the day. I vowed to remember that example and apply it often in my own life.

So, that brings me back to today. Fittingly, it rained this morning. I don't think I have to worry about the boys wanting to traipse about naked in rubber boots but, shy of that, they are calling the shots.

And I am that parent who will be smiling at their wonderfulness and happy just being.

Life is good :)

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