I used to be a very spontaneous person. I used to get crazy ideas in my head and decide to do them, on a whim, just ‘cause. One time in college a friend and I decided to get out of the dorms and drive for a bit. We were in our PJs and had no real plan of where we were going. We just needed to get off campus and I was the one with a car. So we started driving. But I was getting tired of stopping for red lights, and decided it would be easier to drive on the highway. So we hopped on 95 and headed north, with no intention of going anywhere specific. We were busy chatting, laughing, singing along to the radio, and next thing we knew we were driving through Philly. I looked at my friend and asked her if she was tired (it was around 1am) she said no and we kept going. I drove all the way to NYC. Got into Times Square around 3:30 in the morning, just long enough to hop out of the car and take a picture of ourselves in Times Square in our PJs with a disposable camera she had found in my glove box. Got back in the car and drove home. Had just enough time for a quick shower and breakfast before my 8am class.
I used to love the freedom of being able to do these things…No day but today, right? You only live once, right? We’re making memories, right? But unfortunately my life now does not allow for these types of spontaneous adventures. Even going out to dinner with a friend has to be planned in advance, so I can organize childcare, make sure I don’t have an early meeting the next day, or get all of my homework finished. My life now doesn’t allow for sleeping in the next day, or catching a quick nap in between classes to make up for the wild night I’d had the night before. Because there is a little girl who needs tending to, who will be talking my ear off and ready to play even if I’m not.
When I look at where I am now compared to where I was 5 years ago…it’s an amazing difference. Not that the 24 year old Nasrene was less responsible than the 29 year old Nasrene…and certainly not that I consider myself any less fun-loving and spontaneous than I was then. I just have to plan in advance now.
So when I review my list of 30 things I’d like to accomplish, I have to resist the urge to say, “I’m going to drive up to NY NOW and walk the Brooklyn Bridge! That would be GREAT!” Because I can’t do that now. I have work today, followed by an appointment, and I need to go to the grocery store tonight. Sadira also has a playdate tomorrow and I’m throwing a baby shower for two great friends on Sunday. So, no, walking the Brooklyn Bridge NOW is not a very good idea. Plus it’s about 110 degrees, so I think I’ll save that one for the fall.
On Sunday (Father’s Day) Brian had to head back to Ohio after spending two weeks with us here in Baltimore. I knew Sadira would be sad that her Daddy had to go back for a bit, so I wanted to do something special for her. He left in the morning, and after she woke from her nap I said:
“Hey, Sades…do you want to go see something cool today?” Her eyes got huge and she said, “Yeah! What Mommy?”
“I can’t tell you, it’s a surprise.”
Her eyes almost bugging out of her head, she whispered, “It’s a little bit secret?” (I absolutely love when she says this…nothing’s ever just a “secret” it always has to be “a little bit secret.” Just one of her Sadira-isms.)
“Yup, it’s a little bit secret, let’s get ready.”
So we hopped in the car, drove downtown and bought tickets to the 5pm show of Storytime Live. We saw Kai-lan, the Backyardigans, the Wonder Pets, and every toddler girls’ favorite Spanish explorer, Dora herself.
By the time Dora came out, I was pretty sure Sadira's head was going to explode, or she would start hyperventilating like a pre-teen at a Justin Bieber concert.
The entire ride home she kept saying, “THANK YOU Mommy, for taking me to see Kai-lan and the Backyardigans and the Wonder Pets and Dora the EXPLORER! THANK YOU!” There was lots of excited chatter from her that day. And anyone who knows Sadira will attest that kid never stops talking.
Loving life at Storytime Live!
Organized Spontaneity is how I roll these days. It’s how I will approach completing the tasks on my 30 Before 30 list. I’ll resist the urge to do them all in the next month—even though I’d love to—for the more reasonable idea of planning them out so I can enjoy them to the fullest.
I loved that I was able to do something wonderful and spontaneous for her. And I hope that she will grow up to be someone who lives spontaneously also. And while it certainly was not a spontaneous midnight roundtrip to NYC with a bestie….it was a spontaneous trip to meet a few of her heroes with my mini-bestie.
PS – while this trip to Storytime Live could be used to cross off #24, I’m not counting it complete…yet. I have something even more amazing for her up my sleeve!
PPS – This week’s letter to a friend is written and in the mail…more to come later on who I chose to mail to first, and what I chose to write.