Monday, April 19, 2010

Electric parenting

I was standing at the playground in front of my daughter's preschool today, pushing my daughter on the swing and watching my son going down the slides. Just yesterday, at a different playground, he had learned about what static electricity is and how it feels when you generate it by going down a plastic slide and then electrocuting the adult at the bottom. But that moment was far from my mind as I giggled with my daughter and watched my son being his typical energetic self. I was trying to inhale their youthfulness and wish that I could bottle it up and keep it with me forever.

Suddenly, my son leaps off of the slide and runs across the playground to me. He wraps me in a big hug and nearly tries to climb me, as though I were a fire pole. Sometimes that energy of his can be kind of assaulting and difficult for me to deal with, but at that moment I was just touched by the sweetness of it. He never runs away from a fun activity just to stop and hug his mom. I started to tear up a little at the sentiment of it.

Then he speaks. "Mom, didn't you feel a shock?"

And it dawned on me. He didn't come over here to hug me. He came over here for an electricity experiment.

It gave me a chuckle as I realized that his spontaneous hug was not born from a moment of affection for his mommy. And it didn't take me long to switch back into Teacher Mommy mode and explain to him that he had already released all of the electricity he generated from the slide by running across the playground. I then went with him from slide to slide, tentatively reaching out to him at the bottom of each one to see which slide gave the biggest shock.

Boys. You gotta love 'em.


used2chaos said...

I could picture the scene you described so clearly...I laughed out loud at your misinterpretation - been there, done that!