My little love and I recently joined a gym. Mentally, this was a difficult step. I’ve never been a gym person, mainly because I love running outdoors and find gyms to be slightly intimidating. There are weird noises, rows of machines that I have no idea how to use, and lots of spandex. Shin splints forced my hand however, and within days my daughter and I had completely changed our routine. Instead of riding along in the jogging stroller, she now learns about basketball, dances a little toddler zumba, and plays on the slide, all while I sweat it out in yoga and group fitness classes. At this point, we’ve been gym rats for a week, and I have to confess that I had NO IDEA how weak I am!!! As a runner, I thought I was in shape. I’m not. I was mere seconds from lying down on the floor and convulsing towards the end of a cardio / strength training class, and I’m pretty sure that my muscles have never been this sore. It feels wonderful.
I truly believe that everything in our lives happens for a reason, and that God brings good from our trials if we allow him to. While I’ve experienced his grace in more serious circumstances than a sports injury, I’ve learned that what seems insignificant can bring about great blessings. My shins forced me out of my comfort zone, and what was a disheartening setback became a much needed change. The ebb and flow of dance and yoga has always been a source of healing and invigoration for me. I love that I have been able to reconnect with that part of myself, while my love muffin has the time of her life experiencing new sports and most importantly, sliding.
The two giant indoor and outdoor pool slides have not escaped her notice. She’s clearly planning on us spending all of our time on those things this summer. Fortunately, there is a floor to ceiling maze of tunnels and slides to keep her occupied until then. I’m fairly convinced that my fearless foodie would sleep there by herself, in the dark if she could.
It was over dinner the other night that I found out just how serious she is about her sliding time. We were chatting about who she played with when she gave me her I-have-something-to-confess-but-it-wasn’t-really-my-fault-but-I-know-it-really-was-my-fault face. Apparently, there was a nice girl in line in front of my sweet one. The line moved, the girl did not. My little person used her words to let her friend know that it was her turn to slide. This is where she paused in the her story. After a moment, I asked my angel what happened. Fork in hand, she cocked her head to the side and pursed her lips. “Well, I told her to move and when she didn’t my foot accidentally kicked her on purpose.” Before I could even get the words out of my mouth, she protested that she knows she’s not supposed to kick others, but that her foot hadn’t listened. I barely managed to reiterate that all body parts have to be respectful of others, before escaping to the pantry and dissolving into silent laughter.
The next day, I sent her to pre-school with the leftovers from dinner. She loves tomatoes almost as much as she loves slides, so I made couscous stuffed tomatoes from The China Study Cookbook. This is one of my favorite cookbooks for its simple recipes that use whole ingredients. I just prayed when I dropped her off that her hand wouldn’t accidentally on purpose toss a stuffed tomato at anyone during lunch.
What are your favorite “stuffed” recipes? We would love to try them, so please share!