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#160: Learning From a Child's Exuberance

Sunday, December 06, 2009

When was the last time you watched a child play? Not to monitor them as a parent or as a babysitter, but simply to watch them and wonder where in the world they get their energy?

I was at my sister's late this morning as she babysat her five-year-old grandson, Evan. I looked forward to playing with him and doing stupid things and making up funny poems like we do when he and I are together. We played soccer in the hallway with a Nerf type of ball, then trucks and fire department, making sounds like sirens. All of the time with the trucks he, of course, pulled out every one he had there, not seeming to understand portioning them a few at a time.

But it was the same with the way he played -- full out. I finally got tired watching him go on and on like the Energizer Bunny, sat down and began wondering when we become stodgy and out-of-energy, one day vibrant and then tired and worn out.

I read many blogs here that say the writer wants to lose weight to be better able to play with their children and grandchildren. I know excess weight is part of it, perhaps a major part. But is there more, maybe adult responsibilities, that drains us of our child-like enthusiasm? Is it the worries of daily life?

Then the more important question hit me -- how do we get that child-like innocence back? By not worrying about embarrassing ourselves as we play with the little ones? By forgetting the "real" world for a short while and reclaiming our youthful innocence?

Whatever method we use, it seems important that we try to re-capture that child-like part of us that just wants to have a good time with such simple things as toy trucks or a ball, that we regain our sense of wonder at the world's treasures. When was the last time you enjoyed the breeze, instead of worrying about leaves blowing in the yard, or savoring a temperature change as part of the evolution of the seasons?

When was the last time you simply had fun?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Children are truly amazing. That is why I enjoy my work with them.

    Remember, we don't stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.
    4103 days ago
    This is a great blog, Lou. One reason I enjoyed teaching pre-k for so many years is that it was always fresh and new. I truly enjoyed looking at things through the prespective of the kids. They are open, honest, and willing to open themselves to new opportunities.

    Somewhere along the way, we are taught to be serious, and to put aside the wonder and excitement that children have. Why? I am not sure. Perhaps if we DID keep some of that childhood wonderment alive within us, things would be better...
    4103 days ago
    Lou, you've tapped into a very serious and empowering truth here. It's the very reason Jesus said we should come to Him as little children. You hit the nail on the head: Kids go full throttle, with total abandon, with nary a nary a care for what others will think about how they look when they're having fun. They bellyache laugh when they're tickled. They run to the one (One?) they know will keep them safe when they are afraid or hurt, hurling themselves into the arms of safety and comfort, no timidness, no questions of their own worth or of the abilities their comforter (Comforter?). Kids DEFINITELY have it going on. Thank you for this reminder! I just love your blogs. You always stir my mind and heart up.

    4103 days ago
    Lou, yesterday I went to my 3 year old great-grandson birthday party. I had so much fun watching the children be children. I bought him a 7 dollar play guitar....the lest expensive of all the gifts he got , but after he opened it that was all he wanted to play with and the other children played with his other new toys while he kept us all entertained and in stitches. He was so funny! The guitar played music when you hit a button. He was rocking and bouncing . Watching the children and how free they are with movement was amazing. One little boy just decided he wanted to stand on his head and he did! I don't think I have ever been able to stand on my head . LOL

    When do we become so rigid in our thinking and body????
    It creeps up on us! I am all for being young at heart!
    4104 days ago
    I've oft said that everyone home should always have a 2 year old for to see the world through their eyes truly does reopen our hearts to the wonder of it all.

    Though we can never again regain their innocence, we can shed some of those inhibitions that keep us from shouting for joy and jumping up and down with praise. There is so much we have to (re)learn from our kidlets.
    4104 days ago
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