I was watering my hanging flower baskets and container veggies when all of a sudden I noticed there was a leak in the handle of the spray attachment on the bright yellow hose. My glove was dripping wet. Before long, more water was coming out and part of my pants was also soaking wet.
I laughed out loud, remembering the days of running through the sprinkler, getting caught in sudden downpours, and falling down while water skiing. It was perfectly acceptable to get wet in those circumstances. But sprinkling yourself until your pants are dripping? Well, that’s a little iffy in my book.
My mind is not my friend. “That was stupid. Why didn’t you just tighten it up when you noticed it was dripping?”
“I don’t know. I didn’t think of it then. I was having too much fun watering the plants and watching the rainbows I made with the water and the sun.”
“Well, don’t you think you’re a little OLD for stuff like this?”
“Not really. I feel younger than I have in years. Do you have anything else to say, maybe something constructive?”
I remember when I taught my grandson how much fun it was to jump in a rain puddle. His mom was none too pleased with the results of wet shoes and pant bottoms, but we had a great time that day.
A few weeks later I taught him how to drag a stick along a metal fence to make fence music. He liked that and so did I. That’s why being a grandmother is so much fun. You don’t have to worry about the day-to-day things like parents do.
Now he’s 14 and graduates from the eighth grade next week. Jumping in puddles doesn’t interest him anymore, but playing video games and making animated films does. Time does more than fly — it whizzes by so fast the older you get that you wonder how you can keep up with anything.
When I was sick as a child, my dad used to bring me records from this favorite shop of his in San Francisco. They cost him $1.00 each. He brought me musicals because he knew how much I loved them. I knew all the words to all the songs in Carousel and South Pacific before I ever saw them in the theater or on stage. Thanks, Dad, for a good memory. I bet you and Mom are having the time of your lives in heaven.
Nurturing your inner child can be done in a myriad of ways. You can fly a kite, catch a butterfly, dig a hole, ride your bike, play catch with your own kids or friends, pick some flowers from the garden and present them to your Mom if she’s still alive or enjoy them yourself.
Eating dessert before dinner is a great way to let your inner kid come out to play. Didn’t you always wonder why you had to eat dinner first when you were young? I did. Today I do that sometimes. It feels fabulous.
Dying Easter eggs with your own or others’ children, doodling while you’re attending a boring business meeting, taking a different way to work, watching re-runs of “Leave It to Beaver” or “Happy Days,” or playing with a yellow duckie when you take a bath will all keep you young longer.
I have two inner children, the one that loves to come out to play and the one that is wounded emotionally. It used to be that I spent a lot more time holding the hurt kid. But today she only comes around every so often. Today I spend a lot of time recognizing the one that wants to play and the little things I do or someone else does to make that possible.
I hope you will take care of your inner child today in some way. I know you’ll be glad you did.
Ice cream, anyone?