Week 26 | Use Your Senses


This week…I challenge you to use all five of your senses in one place where you spend time -- be it on a walk, at the market or in your own home.  Wherever you go, close your eyes and listen, breathe in and smell the air and use your hands and feet to feel and touch things along the way, even if it's just the earth beneath you.  Slow down and appreciate the many dimensions of where you are standing, sitting or passing.  Bonus points if you use your imagination wherever you are!

-Shawn @ AA/P52

Here in Southern California, we hang out in our garages.  People barbecue in their driveways, in their lawn chairs and camping chairs, we wave to each other as they drive or walk by, stand with your chest out when people drive too fast.  The back yard is cool, too…but for some reason, in the evenings, when weather cools down just enough, the garage opens up as we wind down from the day.

The girls can often play together quite well, and other times they need our participation. 

After much trial and error trying to keep their attention to one task (kicking the ball around, frisbee, where's the sidewalk chalk?, you guys want to ride your bikes?), they spotted a bag of balloons that I had collected from previous birthdays but hadn't used, and we started to blow them up.  Being on the radar for adding more playfulness in the routine, as the Playful Family Adventure has gently encouraged, I thought I'd get the Sharpies out.  The ones I never let them play with.  The ones on Mommy's desk that causes Mommy to spaz when they get near them.

And we colored on the balloons.  It was fun, it was relaxing, it was what the flow of the evening called for.

We  ZSAWY the colors of the balloons, of the markers and how different markers looked against the colors of the balloons.  I *SAW* them concentrate, I *SAW* them work together to share markers.  I *SAW* their happiness.

I ZHEARDY them ask me to look at their artwork, I *HEARD* them ask me to draw with them.  I *HEARD* the music in the background, this time set to my iTunes playlist; Matisyhu's "One Day" a new favorite of mine.  I *HEARD* their contentment. 

We *TOUCHED* the balloons, we felt how tight they were when big, how rubbery they were when small.  I was *TOUCHED* by their eagerness for something new.

We did not *TASTE* the markers nor the balloons, but the left-over Mac and Cheese from the 4th made for a perfectly easy dinner in the garage tonight.  They giggled their way through dinner and tonight, I let myself *TASTE* their genuine joy.

There was not much to *SMELL* in the garage, but as I kissed them goodnight tonight, the scent of their wet clean hair reminded me, like it does for so many of us, that another day is done; and a good, slow, summer day was this one.

 © Houseman 2013