The other day I was walking my Border Collie, Jack, to the local dog park. To get to the dog park we have to pass by a children’s playground. It wasn’t that busy on this particular day but there were a few playing on the equipment.
One little boy was by himself and trying to play on that piece of equipment that we used to call a teeter-totter but one that has huge spring coils on either side so that not only can you bounce up and down but it also spins around. Now I have seen kids on this piece of equipment who are spinning so fast they look like they are going to throw up and sometimes they even fall off! This little boy was on his own but that didn’t stop him from having the time of his life. He wasn’t getting as much bounce as he would with someone sitting opposite him, or someone helping him spin but he was doing the best that he could.
He had the biggest smile on his face and was laughing out loud even with no one around him. As I watched him have fun I couldn’t help but wonder why we lose the ability to have so much fun on our own as we become adults. He was so much in the present moment and giving of himself completely to what he was doing and trying to accomplish. Even though he wasn’t spinning as fast as the equipment would allow him to, he didn’t care because he looked like he was just grateful for the time he was in at that moment. He was totally carefree and not worried about what he might look like to others and was laughing one of those full on belly laughs that made you want to laugh along with him.
His world was that moment, nothing else mattered
We always think about what we need to teach our children but at that moment he made me think of how much I could learn from him. Sometimes it can be good to just let go and be that child again, to find the joy in just being in the moment, not to worry about what we look like to others and even if we don’t have someone across from us helping us bounce and spin, try to do it on your own and enjoy the experience.
The next time you see children playing and their only goals are ‘play, laughter and wonderment’, how about that being your goal as well.
Children are not only innocent and curious but also optimistic and joyful and essentially happy. They are, in short, everything adults wish they could be. ~ Carolyn Haywood