Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Taking the stroller outside

I've said it before, in this post, that if I were a super hero my name would probably be something like Miss Meticulous. As much as I would like to think of myself as a zany, crazy, spur-of-the-moment type of gal, deep down I know I am just kidding myself.

Lately I've been noticing that the overly anal-retentive side of my personality is creeping up on me, and I'm afraid it's going to take over like a rising tide. If you've ever lived near the ocean then you know what it's like to be playing out on dry sand, and the next thing you know you're knee deep in water and your beach blanket looks very, very far away.

I relish order and, for lack of a better word, cleanliness to my life. And although this is an okay thing in small doses, I don't want it to stop me from living my life.

Elise has this baby doll stroller and she loves to toddle around the house with it. She puts her doll in it and strolls around; clucking her tongue and telling baby, "it s'okay, be-be, it s'okay". Apparently, her baby is suffering from some sort of angst... all the time. The other day she had the idea that it would be fun to take it on our walk with us. You know, outside.

I kneeled down and told her that no, the stroller needs to stay in the house. If we take it outside, the wheels will get dirty, and then track the dirt inside. And I'm the one that will most likely end up carrying it home (I added silently in my brain). As she started protesting violently, as only Elise knows how, I thought about how ludicrous my reasoning was.

But this line of thought is in lock-step with how I've been living my life lately. I refrain from doing things just because it's messy, or hard. The long and the short of it is; it's just easier to keep the stroller at home. If you've been reading for awhile, then you know that my daughter, now 22 months old, was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 12 months. And it has made life hard. And messy. And it has made me afraid.

My day-to-day routine is peppered with "what-ifs". I hate to stray to far away from the house lest something happen with Elise's diabetes. Plus I'm starting to feel like a bloody pack mule with all the stuff I need to carry around for her. And forget travelling. Trying to go through security with all Elise's supplies and food, not to mention what if something happens when we're in the air? Forget it. It's too messy and it's too hard.

But it's dawning on me that I'm not really living my life, I'm hiding from it. Life is messy, it's dirty, and man-oh-man is it hard. But isn't it during those times when you have the most fun?

I can remember when I was 15 or so, I was at my soccer practice one night when the sky opened up and it started to pour. Some of the more adventurous ones on my team thought that was a grand time to practise slide-tackling. In the mud.

I stood on the sidelines and said, "no thank you, I'd rather not have to scoop mud pies out of my shorts" (not those kind of mud pies you dirty, dirty people). But as I watched them, I saw the fun that they were having, I realized that I was missing out, so I took a flying leap into the biggest mud puddle I could find. And yeah I was dirty, but I had a load of chuckles with my team mates that night.

It's a stroller, and what else is it meant for if not for my little girl to take it on a walk around the neighbourhood? So what if the wheels get dirty? It's not like I'm trying to keep it in pristine condition for re-sale on EBay or something. The stroller, like life, is meant to be taken outside and used. And if I end up carrying it, and Elise, and her baby doll for a quarter of a mile; well, so be it. I could use the exercise.

I think what I'm trying to say is that for the past year I've been living my life in a box. Or a hole. Or behind a curtain. Or locked up in a tiny, windowless room with no light or sound being able to penetrate the walls. And I want out.

I want to know what it's like to live again.


MaRia said...

Love, love, love this post!
So me!
Post a picture of your next stroller walk for me! :)
(Not that I don't trust that you are really going to do it!!! ;)

Sara said...

Perfect. Thanks for writing about what we were talking about yesterday -- I love it!

Leah J. said...

What a GREAT and honest post!!

emily w said...

the last paragraph and then that final sentence, those are perfect.
go for it, and slide in the mud again!

Kim said...

And the great thing is when you give yourself permission to enjoy life and it's messiness, you also give that to your little girl. Beautiful post!

Anonymous said...

GREAT post and great epiphitree, if that's the correct spelling.

I just watched Braveheart. Naturally I blogged about it. The best line from that movie?

"Every man dies. Not every man really lives."

christygirl said...

That is so great! I'm sorry life has dealt you guys some major runnawayandhide blows, don't get me wrong. But I'm glad you are finding the strength to fight back. Elise deserves that. You all do!