Monday, June 29, 2009

stroller

On the beach one more week….my chair was calling me. So here I am with the chair, the sun, the mountains across the water and perfect families pushing their children in baby SUV’s . I wonder if kids who spend their early years being pushed in these huge contraptions will be predisposed to driving Escalades when they are older? Whatever happened to the umbrella stroller? I don’t see those much anymore in the land of excess.
Not many people are staying in here this morning, they’re on the run it seems, even more than usual. They’re running to their busses, running with their dogs, running behind their baby coaches, clinging to handbrakes. It would seem to me that any transporter of cute helpless little humans that is in need of a handbrake just needs to slow down. What are we teaching our kids anyway, that life is always about running? You’d never see anyone running behind an umbrella stroller. One bump and those things fold up like an accordion.
I remember, one thing that made my childhood so rich in experience was the time that I got to spend seeing the sights as I passed through life. It might have been long walks or long drives, but regardless, I was able to sit back, relax, and observe. I see families travelling now, and it seems as if every kid has an ipod fused to their heads and their own video screen. Whatever happened to “ I spy …….” And the concept of travelling games? I’ll tell you what happened…. Baby SUV’s and the parents who run behind them. Walks for these little ones are not for experience any longer. They are for endurance. Walks used to be social events as the little riders would see other little riders and be able to have their cute little rider conversations. They could laugh and point and grunt at each other. Now they are flying by each other so fast, it’s about as effective as yelling your order at a” drive –through” kiosk at 60 mph. No one is recognizable as everyone is a blur….but hey, at least mom and dad are fit in their multi-tasked kind of lives.
I remember some wisdom that came from the lips of my principal when I was in elementary school. He was a Richard Nixon type of figure, which was fitting because it was in the 70’s. Anyway….when any of us were busted for the terrible infraction of running in the halls, he would yell “Hey…take life easy!” He’s no longer principal and that wisdom would no longer be welcome in the training of our next exhausted generation. They’re being taught at an early age, that if you’re not running, you’ll be run down. As Ricky Bobby claimed, “if you’re not first, you’re last”.
It’s no wonder so many of us have dumped our spirituality somewhere along the journey. We’re running so fast that even God can’t keep up. I’m recovering this week from some excessively fast running of late, but I will tell you that the only reason I have something to recover is that even in the midst of this latest round, I remembered the words of my principal many years ago and I took some time to “take life easy”. I still stopped along the way for a bit of the experience. For all of you stroller parents, my prayer is that you’ll never be pushing fast enough to need the brake.

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