Saturday, June 5, 2010

What I Learned About Skin Today

Victory!  I figured something out:  My daughter loves to swing.  More than any other activity, she loves to swing.  Everyday, she asks if I can push her on the swing (she's not good at pumping yet).  And ever since I started writing the flair blog, I've been asking her why she loves it so much.  Living with flair is figuring out what we all love--getting to the core of it--and attaching it to a deeper truth.

My daughters think I'm over-analyzing.  I'm not phased by this.  I'm used to college students rolling their eyes and telling me we are "over-analyzing" that poem or that Shakespeare play.  They hate it when I ask them to tell me why they love something.

"Can't we just love it?  Do we have to know why?" 

Well, yes.  Yes, you do.

It will help you live great lives.

So this morning, I'm dusting my little one's room.  Both daughters are spinning around me, doing their little girl attempts at cleaning.  And I ask once again:

"Why do you love it so much?  Why do you love swinging for hours?"

"Mom, I already told you.  I...don't...know."

"It's not because it's high up or fast or something?"


"It's not because it feels like you're flying?"

"No.  I just like it.  That's all. OK?"  She's a college student telling me I'm over-analyzing.  She wants to love the poem but not care why. 

But I'm not finished yet. I call the older one, the wiser one who is more prone to accept challenges.

"Why does she love the swing so much?"

"Easy, Mom.  She loves it because it cools her down.  It's the wind she loves."

"But she loves to swing all winter--when she's already cold."

"Well, then, it's because she can feel the wind on her whole entire body.  That's what she loves.  The wind on her skin!"

We pause for a minute and I'm told by my children that the skin is the largest organ and that it feels things for us.

"Right."  My little one pops up and nods rapidly.  "That's it, Mom!  That's it!  I love it because it's my whole body feeling it on my skin."

And the older one says:  "That's why kids like to get dirty.  It gets the whole body into it, on the skin, you know."

I'm thinking that computer games and television don't engage their bodies.  I'm thinking that I want to go get on a swing with them, dive back into the pool (and yes, I did do the diving board yesterday--a liberating front dive to the applause of other moms!), bury them in sand at the beach, run in the rain with them, or roll down a grassy hill to get my whole body feeling something.

I'm probably dying a little bit inside for lack of diverse activities that get every piece of my skin involved.  Living with flair is getting my whole body into something.  And it's getting down deep into my experience to figure out what and why I love it.

(Photo from School of Prosperity)


Liv @ Choosing Beauty said...

LOVE that photo!
And thanks for swinging by Choosing Beauty this past week - turns out you WON the book pack! Send me an email with your full name and address to Congrats!

Rachel said...

Love this post! (I came over from the Happiness Project blog).

Just wanted to add that swinging also messes with proprioception, the sense we have of our body in space -- and this is true even in winter when not all the skin can feel the wind. :) Children seem to love proprioceptively rich environments (such as swings, merry-go-rounds, trampolines, balance beams, hanging upside-down, and yes, that environment you create from spinning around or rolling down hills). The only question in my mind is why adults forget about this kind of stimulation, and the joy people can get from fully using the proprioceptive system.