Every Sunday afternoon you would expect the children’s playground to be very busy. The moms in small groups are probably talking about the Sunday service or their past week, and the children are on the merry-go-around begging for someone to push them even harder; those who can’t find a seat are running around and playing with the sand. This one kid on the merry-go-round caught my attention when he started sneezing and smiling for no reason at all. I could tell who his mom was from the crowd because she was smiling at him, and he was smiling back. “Why is he doing that?” I asked the mom, and she responded, “He just learned the sneezing song from CoComelon. He does that when he is happy.” Then I couldn’t help but smile, it must have been the cutest thing I saw all day. I couldn’t help but want to learn how it felt to sneeze and smile like that.
What do I miss about being a child? It probably has to be that I didn’t have a care in the world. I had a kind of freedom that as an adult you start to envy. The phrase “adulting is hard” exists because the older you get the more you learn, the more responsibility you get, and possibly the more loss you begin to experience. You start feeling weighed down by everything else, by everyone else, and you embark on the journey of learning and unlearning certain things. I mean change is inevitable, but, damn, is it hard!
I miss how easy it was to make friends, usually just starting with a small hello or a kind gesture of some sort. I miss having ready-packed lunch every day and my dad bringing us gifts every time he comes home from work just because we asked him to. I obviously can’t have everything as it was before, but I am trying to create what that might look like for me right now. One step at a time.
What does it mean to be a kid again? Letting go! Let loose and sometimes run. I enjoyed feeling the wind on my face, the rain on my cheeks, and my mom’s home-cooked meals. Take a walk in the park today, maybe alone, and remember what you enjoyed doing the most. Recall that one day as a kid you still remember to date because you were your happiest and don’t stop doing that. Learn how to be a kid every day and live. Even if you are 80 years old or 100, you are still someone’s child; you still have that inner kid who wants to live as he/she/they did. As we mark Be a Kid Again Day, don’t forget to feed that part of you that has been waiting to feel alive again.
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