Do you take things too seriously? Sometimes I do. Sometimes, I get all wrapped up in issues, in thoughts, in that ever-expanding taxonomy of what-if’s and I enter a pretty serious place. But then. Then I am brought back – to life, to love, to exquisite silliness – by three little girls who do not yet know what it means to be serious.
You see the little girl above? The one who’s skipping in her sister’s dress on a city sidewalk clutching a pumpkin-colored balloon? She said something to me recently that blew me away. We were in the back of a cab and I turned to her and asked her a question: What do you want to be when you grow up? And she gave it some thought, but then looked up at me, her blue eyes blazing.
A Rememberer, she said.
And I am not a super-sentimental being, but my eyes welled up because this was so amazing. That she wants to be a person who remembers things.
Me too, kid.
And as I work on this, on trying to remember things, I will be careful to remember (yes, that word again) something. An important something. I will try to remember that remembering doesn’t always have to be a sober and serious affair. It can be, and will be at times, but remembering can also be a happy dance. It can be simple and silly and skippy. It can be as easy and breezy as an orange balloon in summer sky.
Oh, and squint. You see the bigger girl up ahead? The one with the purple balloon? Well, she recently graduated from preschool and got her yearbook. In the yearbook, she was asked the same question: What do you want to be? And her answer was singular and delighted me to no end because it was the very same answer I used to give when I was but a little thing. Her answer?
Are you more silly or serious? Do you ever unwittingly slip into a serious place? Is remembering a happy or hard thing for you? Do you blog (or do anything else) in an effort to remember these days? What do your kids want to be when they grow up? What do you want to be when you grow up?