Thursday, January 23, 2014

Hydroplaning through life, and grounding myself

I remember when I first heard the word "hydroplaning," back in high school. I was in Drivers Ed on a rainy Sunday morning, and the morose-looking but sweet teacher was explaining what the word meant: When there's a wet surface on a road, a layer of water can build up in front of the car wheels so that they roll on top of it instead of hitting the pavement; since there's no grip, a car can skid out of control.

I've thought about the word a lot during parenthood, because I often feel as if I am hydroplaning through life: always rushing to do something, rarely feeling grounded. I like to joke that I often don't have much time to think, only it's not a joke.

One thing that helps: browsing through photos I snap of the kids. I'll sit there and scan my iPhoto or iPhone, relishing not just the cuteness and happiness but what happened, too.

Yesterday, I took an iPhoto break from work and found this photo from Max's school holiday concert. His awesome teacher had made a video of the kids baking a chocolate cake, and invited parents to the classroom before the performance to view it. Max in a baker's hat = adorable. Max cooking = amazing. Yet this photo says so much more.

Max turned to find me in the crowd of parents so he could see my reaction to his first appearance in the video. He knew I'd have this big, dippy grin on my face (I did). He knew I'd do a little fist pump (I did). He wanted to share the moment, and take in my pride.

There is all sorts cognition and connection happening in this photo.

I sat at my desk, pondering that afternoon at Max's school. I had enjoyed it while I was there, but now I was savoring it. My mind wasn't careening from one thought to the next, as it usually does. It was focused on a moment that really mattered.

I'm not one to do yoga or remember to take deep, restorative breaths. But photo zen: I am in.


  1. I love this! The analogy is perfect and I can relate, as well. Thank goodness for pictures!

  2. Some photos are SO engaging! Oh, to find that perfect moment to capture...

  3. What a perfect moment captured…you are so right to savor it!

  4. It's funny, I try to make time for yoga and restorative breaths (sheepish smile), and somehow always feel guilty about flicking through pictures (it's a bit like facebook guilt, you know the kind?). And yet you are so right about what a useful and sometimes cathartic retrospective it gives... My kids love looking at photos too, we'll be doing more of it! Thanks for this post.

  5. What did he make? I can see his interest in the culinary arts!!!


Thanks for sharing!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...