To Be a Kid Again

I have two sweet daughters, ages 9 and 7, whom I publicly refer to as Biggest and Littlest. Here’s a picture I like, because of its carefree perspective. In it they’re throwing pennies at the mall of my youth. (And quite possibly wishing to be grown up.)
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A few weekends ago Biggest and I had some time together, just the two of us. While running errands, we stopped by a local park. The air was comfortably cool, the sun bright. From my creaky swing I watched her flop around on some rubberized elliptical machine-type thing, no inhibitions, no self-consciousness. It took half-a-second and one good bounce to realize how removed I am from moments like that. And another half-second to wish I could reverse the years, shed some experiences, and live in that unrestrained place again, just for a bit.
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I’d play without feeling silly, get dirty without caring, just get lost in being me and not pay so much attention to the outer world, which can be pretty darn oppressive. I would do more of what I feel, and certainly feel what I do. Kids are good at that, right? I’d be released from adult-size worry and responsibility. Tell me that wouldn’t make for a great day.
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Because I wouldn’t have to think about money or regret or car maintenance (the worst thing about being a single woman), or what my body is and isn’t, what I can and can’t do. Big decisions wouldn’t be mine to make, work wouldn’t take significant chunks of my time. Dinner wouldn’t be mine to cook. Oh, that would be a great day.
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I’d be nine years old, playing in the park, with things like flopping about and awesome snacks and Disney Channel shows on my mind, that’s it.
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Does anyone have a penny? I think I’d like to make a wish.
(photo credit: post author)
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About Janna

writer, editor, marketing assistant, resume consultant, mom, wannabe philosopher, advocate, and possibilitarian / you can call me Janna

Posted on November 14, 2012, in Blog Posts. Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. This post made me want to cry. It really reached into my gut, wrenching it into the reality that time passes me by every single day and I don’t take notice of a LOT of things that I should. I’m too busy doing what I’m supposed to do, not stopping to smell the roses, as some people say. My children are 14 and 18 and I could learn from them in their attitude about what is and is not important. Thank you for this reality check, Janna.
    Patti

  2. I want to be in that day with you! What fun we’d have, flopping around, making up stories and acting them out, getting dirty and acting like fools and not caring! My youngest is almost 18 and no longer has that carefree attitude of no inhibitions. She’s careful and watchful now. Life has unfortunately taught her that. And I miss those crazy let-loose days of her childhood. Great post, Janna!

  3. I tell my kids all the time not to wish their childhood away. There are many days when they were little I’d get on their scooters and skateboards and the equipment at the playground just to show them you are never too old to be a kid. There is nothing like getting on a swing for helping all your worries drift away as you pump your legs higher and higher. Thanks for the reminder–it’s been a while!

  4. That would be a penny well spent. Great post. Just as we spend time every day exercising or practicing the piano or whatever, we should carve out at least a few minutes and just be a kid.

  5. Hi there! I found your blog searching for info on cotillions. I read the post from March and am wondering what to bring as a gift? Money? How much? Flowers? If the gal who wrote that post could let me know I would really really appreciate it! I can’t find anything on Google!

    With regards to this post I completely agree! I would play Barbies all day. Oh how I loved the make believe world of Barbies where everyone’s lives were perfect.

    Glad I found you ladies!

    • Thanks so much for stopping by! I’ll find out who to direct your question to, and let them know you’ve made an inquiry.

    • Hello! I’m the author of the cotillion post. Gift for cotillion? Depends on the occasion. In general, cotillion is a dance/manners class where young people learn how to interact in formal situations. In general, the kids do not bring gifts. Perhaps you were thinking of a sweet sixteen celebration or bar mitzvah?

      Would love to get more specific–just let me know!

      • Hi! Thank you so much!! Here is the invite I got: Im Turning 13 and having a cotillion. Saturday, November 24th & Your Invited! (: 2012 12:30pm-4:30pm
        LaFollette Park 1333 North Laramie Avenue Chicago, IL 60651-1415
        RVSP By Nov.15
        Dress Attire (No Yellow please).
        I can’t imagine going and not bringing anything? I tried to Google and found out that it is for manners, but also that it is a bit like a wedding??

  6. As kids, all we think about is growing up, but when we grow up, we want to be little again. How crazy is that? Lol. It’s too bad the world teaches us to quit being a kid. Great post, Janna. Thanks for the reminder to go out and play once and a while. 🙂

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