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Who's Going to Push Me?

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ALISA SCHINDLER
Alisa Schindler

"Push me!" my son yells. With a weary sigh, like he's asking me to work heavy machinery, I lift my a** off the bench and make my way over to the swings.

He waits patiently while I trudge my 30-pound bag that I shouldn't even have brought out of the car, but for some unconscious reason always feel compelled to keep with me, even though the car is parked 20 feet away. I always think, but what if I have a moment and can read my book? Or what if we need a water bottle, a snack or a back-up snack? What if I get a brilliant thought and need my pad and a pen? And wipes -- you always need wipes. OK, the back-up Kindle, the 10 pounds of change and the bag of coupons and receipts might not be necessary, but I can't go organizing right now, can I?

My arm sighs as I drop the bulky bag in the wood chips, ensuring I will find a few of them later ensnared in my hair ties or tissues. "You don't need me to push you. You know how to push yourself," I say, and give his little butt a shove.

"I know I don't need you to push me," He says, exasperated. He's only 5 and already I'm the mom who doesn't get it. "l want you to!"

My child is a genius, I think, and absent-mindedly propel him to the sky. He knows what he wants.

Which starts me thinking -- always dangerous -- what do I want?

What do I want? It's such a simple question and yet so difficult for me to answer.

To redo my kitchen? Yes, but I misplaced the plans that we had made up, and without them seem to have lost the incentive as well.

To lose five pounds? Sure, but not if it means giving up ice cream, or wine, or sushi lunches or any of the little extras that make me a little extra happy.

To get a book deal, an agent or to be paid for the essays that I so lovingly write? Yes, yes, 1,000 times yes. But what am I really doing to accomplish any of those things? Not much.

When am I going to start going after what I want instead of waiting for it to fall into my hands? When I am going to find the motivation within me to accomplish the things I want? When I am going to stop taking the easy way out and work harder? When am I going to want it enough to go and get it?

"Higher!" My son orders, and I send him reaching for the stars.

Apparently, I need a push as well.