This is my precious G-baby, Adelaide. We like to swing together, so this week while I’m pumping my way to the sky she says to me, “Did you feel that? Something just sprayed me.”
We’re in a forest in Florida so it could be anything, but I go with, “It’s probably just tree sap.”
“Or bird sweat. It could be bird sweat!” Her shout startles a flock of fowl skyward.
“Or bird sweat,” I concede.
We swing side by side for a few more pumps when a warm, wet glob plops down on my forehead. While I’m wiping it away lil’ Miss A turns to me and makes a face. “I know what it is, G-Mom.”
I don’t even dare to ask.
“It’s squirrel pee. It’s raining squirrel pee!”
Mercy me! Squirrel pee.
I start to giggle. Then I laugh. And then I’m happier than I’ve been in a very long time.
Know why? Because I’m feeding my brain all the good stuff. Look up a hormone called prolactin. It’s usually associated with female milk production, but since my lactating days have long since dried up, this is the cranial magic that breaks down barriers between individuals and allows us to bond. Mother/baby, G-Mom/G-baby, Stranger/Friend, etc.
We humans are not meant to live life solo. We’re meant to bond by dancing and singing and thriving in tribes. Survival depends on it.
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, my heart is with my “tribe.” It’s also with those who are without a tribe. I’ve been there. I was raised in foster care. Some homes made me feel welcome and safe. Others made sure I felt isolated and inferior.
No child should ever feel those feelings or be that vulnerable to predators.
So here’s what I hope we’ll do this week. I hope we’ll seek for ways to include others. It’s not hard to find lonely people. They’re on the streets, in nursing homes, and in our own homes. Next I hope we’ll find a way to better bond with each other. To pardon old trespasses once and for all. I hope that we’ll invest in experiences rather than things. Make memories. Shop. Cook. Create. Laugh. Reminisce. TOGETHER!
Nourish our bodies with healthy food and our brains with healthy neurotransmitters that come from bonding, laughing, being grateful—from tossing stress out with that nasty, soggy little giblets package you find when you violate a turkey’s cavity by sticking your hand where it doesn’t belong.
Here’s the deal. You are meant to be happy. You deserve to be happy. Happiness thrives when it is shared. So I pray that you’ll find yourself showered this holiday week with unexpected delights. Maybe not squirrel pee, but then again…it worked wonders for me.