Friday, January 17, 2014

Jump into Life with Abandon

Did you ever watch young kids playing? Young kids embrace life during every moment. From the time they climb out of bed until they finally close their eyes, they are going full steam ahead.

They run, they jump, they climb, they slide, they get excited about everything. They squeal with excitement about puppies, popsicles and blowing bubbles.

Kids know how to jump into life with abandon. They savor the moment and make every day an adventure.

When you try to take a young child's picture, you often end up with a blurry image.

Kids know how to use their imaginations. A blanket and a few couch cushions become a fort. A stick becomes a magic wand and an empty box becomes a car.

When you tell a young child to smile for the camera, you get a puckered up face with eyes squinted nearly shut.

There's something to be said about jumping into life with abandon, not caring what anyone thinks about what you're doing or how you look.

As kids get older, they often lose that sense of wonder and joy about the little things in life.

There's homework and chores to be done, rooms to be cleaned, dogs to walk and life to take seriously.

But there are still fleeting minutes when older kids forget about everything except the joy of living in the moment.

Receiving a special gift for a birthday or Christmas, sledding down a hill or being invited to a friend's party are all times when you might catch a brief glimpse of the excitement you remember so well.

There are certain places kids of all ages are willing to show their excitement.

Playing soccer or baseball, swinging at the playground, riding bikes and playing a new video game may all expose the little kid still living inside in your teen.

Maybe it's being told to "use your indoor voice" or "don't run in the house" that causes kids to be less willing to show their excitement as they grow older.

Most kids will happily ham it up for the camera at the pool, especially on the diving board.

Boys love seeing how big of a splash they can make when they jump into the pool. The boys always line up to take turns doing cannonballs and can openers off the board.

Kids of all ages gladly share their excitement at amusement parks too. Gather at the bottom of any roller coaster and you'll hear shrieks and peals of laughter.

I don't think the excitement really disappears. Instead, it just goes into hiding. Older kids and teens are just too cool to show their excitement most of the time.

It's funny how life works. As you grow older on the outside, you may also grow younger on the inside.

Older siblings, parents and grandparents are often willing to look really silly to make little kids laugh.

Hanging from a clothesline upside down like a monkey is always good for a laugh or two.

Making silly faces and talking in a high-pitched voice will make babies and little kids laugh.

Why can't we just enjoy the excitement of everyday life all the time?

From the cradle to the grave, what would our lives be like if we could stop worrying about whether we look silly and just jump into life with abandon?

Let the little kid living inside you out this week. Scramble to the top of a mountain or climb a tree.

Ride a bike really fast downhill - with no hands. Swing as high as you can and jump to the ground.

Life's too short to take yourself too seriously. When you're a little kid, life is a grand adventure. That sense of wonder and joy doesn't have to end.

Until the next adventure arrives, I'll take what I can get when I can get it and do the best I can to face each day with a smile on my face, a prayer on my lips and a song in my heart.

Blogging Grandma Sandy, signing off for now.

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