Take it on the Chin

This morning, things did not go according to plan. The plan had been in place for weeks (in my mind) to go on a favorite hike on Chicago’s north shore. Down through the ravines, to the beach, have lunch and a swim, then hike back up. It would have been a three-hour excursion, but time got cut short. I wanted to pick my husband up when he got off work, and I couldn’t do both. My friends and I switched to Plan B, a quick jaunt to the beach for a swim. Then they were late. Time was ticking. As I wrote in a previous post, I hate to rush. Rushing can turn (for me) what should be an enjoyable occasion (such as a walk in the woods) into a fretful daymare. Nevertheless, I loaded up the backpack baby carrier and headed to the beach determined to get my baby in the water for a splash—and determined to get my dose of the outdoors before we leave tomorrow.

Turns out, we had a blast. 11AM came way too fast, and my friends suddenly had to split in a hurry (their son had to make a poop in his own toilet; they swiftly wrangled their inflatable donuts and left me on the beach, still needing to change and diaper the baby, fold up the picnic blanket, and load the backpack). I’m sure we all would have stayed through lunch if our respective necessities hadn’t called. But they did.

Notice the Deuter Kid Comfort ii backpack in the background -- I love it. It's great for the beach.

The drive downtown is one I’ve enjoyed over the years. I left the baby behind with Grandma and decided to enjoy some loud music and sunroof breezes in 5-mile-per-hour traffic heading toward one of the most beautiful urban skylines in the world. I had a happy reunion with my husband, who I’ve seen only once in two weeks. Brought him home to a great meal bravely barbecued by the best mom ever—my own.

My mom kicks your mom's ass! Here she is barbecuing in the rain!

Missing out on a longer hike with friends was a disappointment because I’m craving the great outdoors. I hike the local forest preserves with my baby on my back, but I wouldn’t attempt a real challenging hike solo, just to be safe. I’m craving a physical challenge and the feeling of being far away that you only get in a major park, several hours from home. Can anyone reading understand that wanderlust can be agonizingly painful sometimes? It’s unrequited love. The feeling is similar. A dull ache and longing for connection with nature can grow into angst when it’s unfulfilled. It’s a problem in society some talented writers have written about:

No Child Left Inside

Nature Deficit Disorder

The Geography of Childhood: Why Children Need Wild Places

When you Google “nature deficit disorder,” a whole lot comes up. (However, I encourage you to go outside instead of Google right now.)

I was feeling nature-starved this morning. It boils up every now and then. I called my friend Olia to tell her how brilliant her recent blog post was. She starts, “people told me they thought something is wrong with me after reading my blog.” Olia and I agree that blogging is salvation! Just having the blog makes me look for gold in the slushpile of life. The disappointments, the frustrations, the fights all bear lessons. When writing, we reflect on our experience and look for the wisdom to be gleaned from it. It takes time and concentration. In my case, I need quiet to write.

I promise never to rant or complain… without a positive conclusion. It’s me putting myself on the crucifix to show that you, too, can survive. It’s important to learn from others’ experience. That’s why reading is so vital.

About MommyTheorist

Editor, writer, photographer, and new mom
This entry was posted in blog, Health, Journal, Marriage, Outdoor, Parenting, Photography, Relationships, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Take it on the Chin

  1. Ana Kauffman says:

    great job……Your children will thank you one day…. for teaching them about the outdoors . many parents sit their children in front of the TV instead of doing outdoor outings ……. you are a great MOM…….

  2. olia says:

    Thanks Michelle! I love “look for gold in the slushpile of life” It is a slushpile. And I agree with Ana, your kids will thank you for your adventures outdoors and your adventures on this blog.

  3. Zach Duenow says:

    Wish we could have stayed longer…wish I would’ve remembered my manners after carrying bazil and the floaties and helped you move your stuff off the beach…wish sissy’s shredded fingernail wouldn’t have made us late…kids definitely assure that YOUR plans will be demoted…;-)…we’ll get ‘er done next time at the fort. All our best to David and family…Cheers!

  4. Phoebe says:

    I love to read your motivational blogs, Michelle! Nice work!

  5. Lovely! And also, I know this wasn’t the point, but I’m feeling a little obsessed with your wee one’s red hooded swim thingie. What is this cuteness? Do they make them in my size??

    • It’s great for blocking sun! I probably got it at BuyBuyBaby. Will try to remember to check the label and get back to you. It is indeed a great piece. Thanks for reading.

  6. Pingback: Open Access « Mommy Theorist

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