Ok, so I have an embarrassing confession. My family can confirm it with certainty. As a kid, I was a little obsessed with Mary Poppins. Go ahead. Laugh. I remember the sound the VCR would make as it would rewind. Night after night, this was my bedtime story. Mary Poppins and the whimsical world she brought to life was my happy place. I couldn’t sleep without it. It was so lighthearted and easy to watch. I could recite every line. Still can.
The magic Julie Andrews brought to the big screen was uncanny. She was and still is an amazing presence. As a 6 year old child, I saw her as magical. Who was this person who came floating in on a cloud? She was FUN! I wanted to jump in that chalk drawing with her! I wanted to do the chimney sweep dance. And right about the time Jane and Michael met the Bird Lady, I was out like a light. It worked like a charm. Some kids had blankies. Some kids had dollies. I had Mary Poppins.
I had a sobering moment the other day. If you were a teenager of the Y2K era, you will appreciate this. I found myself caught up in a mindless jousting of words with someone of, well let’s say, a younger age. We were going back and forth, dishing out come backs as quickly as the other could spew a clever comment. This guy was good. Quick wit is like my catnip. And then it happened. I was about half a millisecond away from a “Yeah, well your mom..” line when I stopped cold. Eyes wide, I realized something in horror. I was way too close to saying something completely inappropriate to a juvenile. And, maybe even more importantly, I was about to make myself the butt end of a comeback. I was the “your mom”. My son had won. This time. Touché.
Do you ever do that? Get so caught up in being busy that you find yourself on autopilot? It doesn’t matter who you’re with or what you’re doing. Sometimes, like the flip of a switch, I can continue living mindlessly. Obviously what I was doing above was just playful banter with my kid. But really, I can carry on conversations, clean my kitchen, teach a lesson to kindergarteners, and text my bffs. Mindlessly. That’s kind of scary. How much of this life are we walking through without ever really thinking?
Do you remember being little and getting really ticked off at your parents? Looking back now, it probably seems comical. The scrunched up nose, the pouty lips, all because of the impending doom that came with nap time or eating a gross vegetable. Ironic, isn’t it? These days we inhale veggies for fear of back fat. And nap time? Don’t get me started. The ability to halt everything midday to lie down and go to sleep? Fools! We were pint-sized fools!
You packed up the battery powered Big Wheels with your favorite teddy bear and a bag of Oreos and drove off into the sunset. Curious neighbors glanced your way as you rolled by confidently. Notorious B.I.G., what?! Parents. Hmmph. You showed them! We would lie to ourselves, convinced that life was better just over the horizon. And it was all fun and games until you ran out of Oreos.