Recently, my kids and I were at my parents’ house for lunch. It was a gorgeous day outside – full of spring and full of hope. And, I must admit, it kind of made me feel young again.
We were playing outside when my daughter brought out the hula hoop she keeps there and proceeded to demonstrate how good she’s gotten at hula hooping over the last few months. (I guess she’s been practicing during all her visits to Grandma’s house.) This was actually the 3rd hula hoop my mom has bought for Jordan. The first two were destroyed at our house – most likely by her 2-yr-old brother jumping on them and bending them so out of shape that the “hoops” had lost all their “hula.” After the last one was ruined, my mom told Jordan she could only keep the toy at her home.
Jordan asked if I could hula hoop. Could I hula hoop? Of course I could hula hoop. I was the queen of hula hooping when I was a kid. I could keep it going forever. In fact, there was a point in my life where I was selected to continually hula hoop in a toy store’s glass display window to generate sales. Could I hula hoop? Who did my kid think she was messing with?
I took that pink and white, candy-striped hula hoop from my little girl and brought it up around me. I spun it around and began to move my hips and waist. The only thing is, instead of the hoop going round and round, it did a half spin and clamored to the ground. Hmmm. That wasn’t right. I tried again. This time it made a full rotation before falling. My two oldest children began to giggle. I tried again. And again. I couldn’t believe it! It seemed that not only had my daughter’s first two hoops lost their “hula,” but so had her mom!
How could this be? What happened to me? Did the hula go out of me when I reached a certain age? Did it pass through my body when I gave birth? Did the first child do it to me or was it that third baby that finally did me in? And the thing is, I didn’t even realize it was gone! I still thought I had “it.” I’m not old. I’m not fat. My hips still move. So does my waist. So why couldn’t I keep that dang hula hoop up? When did my wiggle become not good enough? And not only that, when did I become short of breath from trying?!
For a fleeting moment, I actually thought about buying myself a hula hoop and secretly practicing. I thought, “I’ll become the best hula hooping mom on the block. Those kids of mine won’t laugh at me next time. I’ll show them, those little twerps.” And then, reality hit me and I realized I was never going to buy one for myself. What mom has nothing better to do than learn how to hula hoop? When would I fit in these secret practices? Between Girl Scouts and quizzing my daughter on her spelling words? Wouldn’t my husband notice the rattling sound that occurred every time I snuck off into the garage? And, honestly, who cares anyway? I realized that, despite my hurt pride, I really and truly did not. So, I let the kids continue to giggle. And, I tried a few more times. Despite my best efforts, the hula hoop never did stay up. But, what did stay up were the smiles on my kids’ faces. And, I realized at that moment, who can ask for anything more than that? (Even if it did take a little humiliation on my part!)
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