A long time ago I had an incident happen to me that has stayed with me all these years. It occurred one night after an evening out with my girlfriends, without kids or husbands. We had a lot of fun laughing, giggling and just being girls. We returned later in the evening to a friend’s house where a cookout was taking place. We continued to laugh and chat. I was being particularly silly that night! It was a carefree evening with no responsibilities. Suddenly, in the midst of our delightful evening regaling each other with stories and laughter, one of my friend’s Mother’s looked over at me with great disdain and said “Carol, when are you going to grow up!”…I guess she thought that I was being too silly and I was taken aback by her comment, but I responded “I hope I never will!!”
I know that I am a child at heart! I love working with kids, having taught school for ten years before going full time into my design business. I love to be around them. They get so excited about the simplest things in life and are so expressive, so uninhibited that anything goes. I find it contagious being around them. When my nine Grandkids are here, I become one of them, playing and dancing and having fun right along side of them. They enjoy everything…they skip, they prance, they jump, they dance their way through life. No puddle is too big for them to plow through. There are no barriers for kids, they are curious and open and eager to learn something new. My Grandaughter Tessa was over one day helping me in the garden. She was about 10 or 11 at the time. She looked up at the pink Madevilla vine growing on a trellis in a whisky barrel nearby and found a teeny tiny frog peeking out from inside the blossom. Immediately she had to pick him up and talk to him and of course name him. He was very cute and very very small. But, she took it a step further by finding an old cardboard box and making a home for her new little friend. She added grasses and a small dish of water for him to enjoy. She wrote his name on the outside of the box. She was so inspired by what Mother Nature had created that as a result, she then created an environment for the frog to live in. Mother Nature=inspiration=creativity!!
I think many people as they age and become adults loose that “sweet spot” in their life. They actually forget how to have fun and laugh. They get a bit too serious and seem to forget that child that they once were. They only do things they think are meaningful, not frivolous or carefree. Perhaps that was the problem for my friend’s Mom that evening so long ago. She just couldn’t relate! Finding your “Inner Child” is important to maintaining that balance in life. My Dad was a good example of this. He was a senior Vice President of a prestigious local bank in our area. He wore a suit to work everyday. And yet, underneath that very proper banking exterior beat the heart of a child. He loved kids and they loved him. He was the kind of Dad that got “down on the floor” and actually played with us. He made things with us in his workshop. He played games and made games for us to play. He taught us all about animals, which he loved. We not only raised parakeets and had several dogs in our house, but we had boa constrictors, owls, milk snakes, turtles and other various creatures that he would come across and welcome. Sometimes he would come up the garden steps and then quickly vault over the garden fence because he could. He had a twinkle in his eye all the time and people loved that about him. As a result, he was very creative and inspired by so many things. He took oil painting and pottery lessons well into his later years. He carved birds and pineapples and mushrooms out of wood. He entered art shows and won ribbons. He made furniture. He maintained a beautiful garden. He raised orchids. He wrote poetry and stories. We always had the best Halloween costumes and our pumpkins were the envy of everyone in our neighborhood. My Dad was a true Renaissance Man…because he never forgot his “Inner Child”.
That ability to find inspiration all around us in life is there for everyone. We just have to tap our “Inner Child” and recall what made us so happy and so uninhibited in the first place! There is something so remarkable about the ability of a child to be so receptive to everything they see. They don’t see the reasons why NOT to do something. They just simply DO it. They are curious and eager to learn about things and they act like a sponge as they absorb all that surrounds them.
So, my suggestion for you today is to become “Young at Heart”….and when that next rainy day comes around, make sure to run through the puddles ….in fact…stomp your feet and splash around in them…get wet, throw the umbrella away and feel the rain on your face…be playful and youthful and say hello to your “Inner Child” that is still waiting for you to play with them once again!!