Spring in the Pacific Northwest is dramatic. April doesn’t know if she should dress up in flowers or kick back yards with downed trees. Moss and pressure washers are at war, and their battles ruin many Saturday afternoons. The only thing you can count on is the need to keep your raincoat handy.
But no matter how gloomy the days might be, my daughter has sunshine in her pocket. Her teachers have given her a special gift: Something to look forward to.
Do you have something to look forward to? Is a joyous event only a few days away? Do your feet dance with anticipation?
Thinking about those questions is sobering. As an adult, something to look forward to often comes with financial strings attached like a vacation to pay for, a party to organize or a new puppy to train. Or maybe the cost is waistline related. Yes, it would be fun to go out for donuts on Sunday morning, but what about those extra calories?
In my daughter’s case, her special event is free, fun and full of fitness. All of the second graders at her school are planning a flash mob at their next assembly. By the time this column prints, it will have already happened.
Picture it: Hundreds of children sitting criss-cross applesauce on the hard gym floor. Suddenly “Can’t Stop the Feeling” from the movie “Trolls” starts playing, Justin Timberlake croons over the speakers, a group of 7- and 8-year-olds jumps up to dance and is joined by more and more kids until the entire second grade moves in synchronized harmony. My daughter waves her hand in the air and does the heel clicks she’s practiced a zillion times. The student body is stunned and bursts into applause.
No wonder my daughter loves school. Her teachers have given her something to look forward to, and it didn’t cost Olympia a dime. The staff used creativity, imagination and student interest to build community.
We all need something to look forward to, especially on dark days. But unfortunately, adults no longer have second-grade teachers adding sparkle to our lives. We can’t remember the last time we had a dance party with friends. The only flash mobs we participate in are on Facebook, when a friend of a friend posts something inflammatory. (Thanks, trolls.)
Something to look forward to for adults means coffee, extra sleep, payday or 10 gosh-darn minutes to ourselves for Pete’s sake. Where is the sparkle? I want sunshine in my pocket, too.
But maybe the sunshine is already there, and we need to look for it in raindrops.
Picture it: You drive through your neighborhood and your favorite song comes on the radio. You tap the steering wheel along to the beat. Right then, you pass a house with a yard full of tulips. It’s an ordinary house but the garden is extraordinary, and its beauty encourages you.
Summer is coming and soon there will be a flash mob of blooms. Hold on to that feeling, because you deserve something to look forward to, too.
Jennifer Bardsley is author of the books “Genesis Girl” and “Damaged Goods.” Find her online on Instagram @the_ya_gal, on Twitter @jennbardsley or on Facebook as The YA Gal.