Are you Swinging Enough?

This week I went to the store and bought three things – all for my child. And I did it very quickly – because I don’t have time to look at shoes for me anymore. I stopped for a moment and thought: How did this happen? And how am I ok with this? Because I love that little booger. A lot. And an image of him in total happiness came to me: Baby O laughing when I fake sneeze.

O 8 mnths

(Well, now that that audio has totally filled your need for cute crap today…I wish I had a video of it, but as soon as I whip out a camera, he stops whatever adorable thing he’s doing and touching our really expensive camera becomes the new fascination.)

He is such a happy boy! And he is in good spirits fairly often. But if I have a hankering for that cute little laugh and it’s not coming, I have a nearly guaranteed way to get that little guy to giggle: put him in the baby swing. When O is swinging, you can sense his anticipation for the next whoosh of air, the next big push, the smile I send back his way. He loves this feeling. He is totally focused in the moment. He is laughing!! And he has let everything else go and is only experiencing the swing.IMG_1575

But when do I get this feeling? Do I ever?

When I was a child, there was a huge hill about a mile from our house. The neighborhood kids would all ride our bikes down there together. We’d be flying at what felt like a million miles an hour by the time we hit mid-way down. Whoops and laughter might be heard – if you were behind someone else and catching their noise in the wind. The only rough part of the whole experience was the walk back up (yes, walk – it was too steep to ride). The independence I felt on my bike was an empowering feeling, and riding down that giant hill made all my other worries (or as many worries as a 9-year-old can have) melt away.

Flash forward to today and worries abound. The health of our grandparents. A home mortgage payment. Daycare bills. Oil change appointments – and the call that your car needs about $400 worth of work done to it. (You know, most of my worries are financial.) How do I let it go? Or do I need to try harder?

Yoga tends to be a great stress reliever for me. I try to get it in a few days a week (either before Baby O wakes up or after he goes to sleep). I do it because my body always feels so achy – especially my back/neck/shoulders area. But a beautiful thing about yoga is the focus on deep breathing. As soon as you begin, you’re calmed by large amounts of oxygen entering your blood. When you’re breath slows, your mind slows. When the fury of everything going in my world is forced to slow, I can choose to take a break from those never-ending concerns and rejuvenate – for my own personal health. It’s not quite the same feeling as flying down a huge hill on your bike, but it does chill me out (well, that and wine).

After I reflected a bit longer on how to totally relax, I realized the same strategy that works for baby O works for me: laughter. I feel lighter when I laugh because something hilarious my husband tells me (nearly a daily occurrence; he really he is my balance to be more like Mary), watching baby O do an accidental somersault while losing his balance as he learns to be a more stable walker, and those few precious moments with dear girl friends when we can gab, giggle, and rejuvenate one another. So here’s to my reminder this week about the one of the best things of life: enjoying laughter. And wine. There should always be wine.

Are you swinging enough? Do you do something that triggers your laughter and ability to relax? Please share! I need help, people!

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