Sunday, March 7, 2010

Living The Good Life

Sometimes I think that maybe I'm not living the good life. You know, really experiencing life at it's fullest. Mostly, I think this when I am sitting on my couch, munching on chips and watching reality t.v. Deadliest Catch or The Amazing Race. These people know how to live, I tell myself. No boring, humdrum here. Unlike myself.

I have a good life. Don't get me wrong. Loving husband. Healthy, happy kid. Secure job. Roof over our heads. But, shouldn't there be more to life than this? Shouldn't I get the chance to ride a raging sea, or climb the side of a mountain only to find out I have to para glide down from the summit? Then, maybe I could say I had really done something with myself. A compelling story to tell in my golden years. It all sounds so good. However, where I live there is no angry sea. Only a river that occasionally floods during spring thaw. And you can forget about any mountain top.

Today, there is only me home from work, dog tired, and a little boy who wants to play on the hill. "The hill" as it is called around here is an empty lot in our subdivision where a house will someday sit. For now there is a massive pile of pea gravel and dirt. A boy's dream. I'm tempted to tell him no. I'm still in my work clothes. I'm tired. I have absolutely no desire to go stand in a pile of rocks and watch him and some neighborhood kids fling dirt around. I'm tempted, but I'm also feeling guilty. I work full time and miss out on so much already. We walk over to the hill and it's empty. No kids. Probably, home eating their dinners. Which is what we should be doing. Only he wants to play with his mom. And how much longer do I have before he stops asking me to play? A few years, at the most?

I suggest king of the hill. His eyes light up. He runs to top and prepares for battle. I make a half hearted run and he takes me down. The kid is serious. And before you know it I am too. We trade power over and over. We trip each other, shove, roll down the gravel and shout war cries like a pair of bezerkers. I'm not sure how much time has passed but I do become aware of a man walking his dog and staring at us. And we must look odd. I'm still dressed in my work outfit, complete with dressy shoes. And we're sitting in a pile of dirt. And the gravel in my shoes are digging into the soles of my feet. Only I don't care about any of that. Because my son is laughing. The deep, belly busting kind that lights up his whole his face. And when his face is lit up, then I'm happiest. This is what living is all about, I say to myself.

Let the adventurers keep their blue horizons. Forget the mountain. I'm afraid of heights anyway. When I'm in my golden years this is the story my son will tell. The day his mom and him had fun together.

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