It wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized that (because of many circumstances) I had missed out on a lot of the silliness and laughter of childhood. That made me sad and more than a little resentful until I realized that … It is never too late to give yourself some of the childhood you’ve always wanted.
I know that moving past childhood trauma is not as simple as skipping through a meadow picking flowers. But, as you work to overcome past hurts, why not give yourself some of the simple joys that are part of a healthy childhood?
I’m not saying that you should throw tantrums and refuse to eat your vegetables (although that might be fun too). I’m saying, remember to do those things that bring you laughter and childish glee.
A few weeks ago, we were having a barbecue party when a heavy rainstorm hit from out of nowhere. My little granddaughter, Anitra, said, “Let’s Dance!” And, you should have seen the adults rushing outside to dance like nuts in the pouring rain. We were all kids again and, it was fun!
Last night, according to Anitra, I was a jet airplane. We ran around her backyard with our arms open wide. Never mind that the neighbors were having a cookout next door. This chubby grandma ran as fast as she could while making airplane noises. I was too shy to do that as a child.
When I was in grade school, my mom had a friend who owned a shoe store. Knowing that we were too poor for new shoes, he would give us the shoes he couldn’t sell. As you can imagine, most of them were quite awful! As my schoolmates ran around in new Keds and PF Flyers, I hid my feet. I suppose I should now buy sensible grandma shoes, but instead I buy Converse “All Stars” in whatever color strikes my mood and I feel like a kid the moment I lace them up.
I spent much of my childhood trying to hide the fact that I needed glasses and I tried to pick out eyewear that blended into my face. Now, I embrace it. My glasses are blue and sparkly. And, instead of feeling sad that I have to wear them, they make me happy.
It is hard for me to sit on the ground (and get back up!) these days, but when my grandkids stop to admire a caterpillar or a shiny rock, I am right down there with them. My clothes get as dirty as theirs do and sometimes I need a helping hand to get back up again, but while I am laying on my tummy in the dirt, I am a happy child.
These days, I try to live my life with the joy, curiosity, and faith of a young child (even when I am well aware that I reside in the body of an older woman!).
The other day, as my granddaughter was heading home, her daddy told her not to make Nanny carry her to the car because Nanny was getting older. Of course, in spite of aching joints, I carried her to the car. She hugged me tight and whispered in my ear, “Don’t get old, Nanny.”
I’m doing my best, Little One, I’m doing my best.
What do you do to stay young? What adventures make you feel like a kid again?