I have a puppy now who is old enough now for walks. It's so adorable. He's all fluffy, tail wagging. But since he is still trying to eat everything he finds like his harness, the leash and.... oh, hello bicycle! I keep my eyes on him.
Way down there.
Near the sidewalk where his little legs carry him.
I was half-way around the block one day when I felt this sad feeling wash over me. I knew this feeling. I had felt it so many times before.
This is the looking-down sadness of having little kids.
They say: go out in nature to be uplifted but you don't have to go outside to feel uplifted. Right now, wherever your are, lift your eyes. Not your head, just your eyes. Keep your head still and look up.
Now try to think a sad thought while your eyes are looking up.
HA! It's magic! Strange, crazy eye magic!
I'm sure there is some scientific reason for this about eye positioning and how it relates to the brain but I did a quick search and I can't find it and if I don't post this right away the kids will find me and this information will sit forever in "drafts".
Quickly now. I CAN HEAR THEM COMING.
So I'll let you Google that later in your free time but even without the footnotes to prove it I have unabashedly tackled many of my friends and tested the theory on them.
When they look up they, too, feel better.
Years ago, somewhere around my second child, I remember my husband asking me if I wanted to go to Europe. I remember saying, "Not with my kids–I want to look up." I imagined the trip as it would probably be, me holding little hands getting to know all of the gutters and sidewalks of Paris intimately while the breathtaking church steeples faded into the distance behind me, unseen. There was a sad little violin playing in the distance.
I was probably exaggerating.
(I have been known to do that.)
It might have been great.
(I do adore my kids.)
But once in a while when I go on a vacation all by myself and I walk through the airport all by myself I spend the entire trip looking up. Into faces. At people. At things. At the window. Out the window. At the life all around me. I'm usually that one person in the airport grinning like a goofball for no apparent reason.
"Oh, sure, anyone is happy when they are on vacation!" you might counter.
But right now I'm here, in the house, in my puppy jeans (already full of tiny puppy-teeth-sized-holes), needing a shower and having to go to the store and I look up and...
So if you feel down and you are busy parenting little ones who are much shorter than you, it might be that you are just looking down. A lot.
Also, check out where you hold your smartphone all day long.
I sometimes wonder what would happen if we all held them a little higher. Kids. Teens. Adults. The world.
What if everything we did with our eyes lifted them–and us–up?
It's like personal growth and stuff.