This weekend we wrapped up Summer 2012. It was a fair one in my book. Not the best, not the worst, but it’ll do.
My extended family gathered this weekend as a last hurrah of summer. That and it was my Mom’s 70th birthday, so happy was the rule of the day. As with many families, ours is scattered among different states. Thankfully, not so scattered that it’s impossible to see each other, but enough so that for ALL of us to get together it’s usually a holiday or special event. That happens when the little birds fly out of the nests, meet other birds and then start having little birds of their own. But, we all (save for one) congregated and squawked along side each other this weekend. Lots of laughs, good food and hugs. We’re a huggy-kissy family. And we also take at least a half an hour to get out the door when saying goodbyes. Just a note.
Two things had me thinking about perspective this weekend. The first was a ride on a ferris wheel that I took with my two daughters. Where my parent’s live, there is an annual fair. It’s a pretty big to-do in that area, complete with all the fair fixings. Barns with bunnies, cows, chickens and loud, demanding sheep. Food trucks with caramel apples (my favorite, hands-down), sausage-and-pepper sandwiches and turkey drumsticks so big that you look like Barney Rubble when you eat them. There are also, of course, the crafts, giant, thousand-pound pumpkins and a sparkling, frantic midway full of rides.
Sidenote: I tell you, carnival people are…..unusual. Not many complete sets of teeth to be found in that demographic. But, I digress.
As the sun had dropped and it was a beautiful, late-summer night, a ferris wheel ride was in order. Usually, my husband jumps into the swinging, swaying cart with our eldest daughter, but this year, it was a girls’ ride. Me and my two girlies. The little one is finally old enough and tall enough to ride. And decided she had the moxie.
In we went. Twinkling lights all around, music, kids grinning from ear-to-ear. Good stuff. As we slowly rode to the top, our little bucket swayed back and forth. The view was amazing. I tried only to look across and away, not down and near. Not my thing. Somehow, you think (at least I do) that bucket is just going to tip and send you spilling out onto the people below. Or in this case, my husband, who was watching us from down there.
It was a decent length ride, so we reached the top several times and it was a great way to see the fair. Colors, figures, lights. A bird’s eye view. Lucky birds, I can tell you. Away from the crazy, cotton-candy gripping masses, the crying melting-down children, the pumping music, even the loud barn-yard animals…up there it was totally different. The air was cooler. The sounds somewhat muffled. A bit breezy. I sort of wished our little bucket would just keep climbing and float over the entire fair. I would have loved to see every inch of it that way. As I’m not traveling by plane in the near future, this was a good way to view things from above and check them out in a different fashion…good to deviated from ground-level.
The other new perspective I was treated to was that of a one-year old and also a two-year old. My extended family, as I mentioned, is now in it’s growing stage. You know you have those years where it’s status quo….grandparents, children, grandchildren. Our family has now started to pass the familial baton and the parents are now the grandparents and the grandkids are getting married and having the new kiddos. Translation: lots of new, wonderful activity at family functions. Little people of all sizes are running around. There’s a great energy that only comes when people under five feet high are in attendance, not to mention a fabulous x-factor.
Well, in hanging around with these wee people this weekend, I was looking at the world not from the way-up-there ferris-wheel view, but from the I’m-pretty-new-to-this-planet view. Not to mention, these little ones only come up to the adults knees and thighs at most. That alone is a perspective shift. Can you imagine if you spent your day surrounded mostly by legs and everyone was looking down at you?
These new little members of our family re-introduced me to curiosity (balloons to a one-year old are nothing short of amazing), sweetness (when a little one takes hold of your hand. *melt*), silliness (two-year old roaring with laughter as his shorts fell down), gratitude (one-year old scarfing down lunch that mom is feeding to her), trust (two-year old jumps into pool and knows Dad will catch him) and peace (tired one-year old in mom’s arms at the end of the day).
Some tall. Some small. All reaffirming that it’s good to step off of your branch and view things from a different perch from time to time.