As a teenager I always said I would never “grow up.” I longed to keep my childhood heart because grown ups don’t have fun. I never wanted to be that parent who watches from a far as their children played in the yard. I never wanted to be that parent who never has time to play or uses the classic excuse,
“oh, Momma’s too old to do that!”
But most of all, I never wanted to stop loving life.
Don’t get me wrong. My life is great, but for the longest time I could not shake this feeling that something wasn’t right. I was simply going through the motions of everyday life. Sure, it was nice to get out every once in a while but even that didn’t feel like it used to. I can remember a time not too many years ago when life still felt magical. Most of my days were filled with joy, plenty of laughter and beauty in the simplest of things. “I guess those days are over,” I thought.
But what if they aren’t?
What if there’s more to life than responsibilities? A couple of weeks ago I was watching the kids play in the backyard. Wyatt (my 3 year old) was packing his trucks to the top of the playground set and rolling them down the slides. You know, typical kid stuff. I seen his precious smiles as each one rolled down and flew through the air as it hit the ground.
Oh what I would give to be a kid again just for a little bit. I would explore the woods and build forts with tree limbs and leaves. I would throw rocks in the creek and see which one could make the biggest splash then tease my brother because mine was bigger than his. I would climb trees and stare into the distance then call for help because I was stuck. I would lay on my belly, swing and know for certain it felt just like flying.
What I would give to do all of those things and more because of course, grown ups don’t have fun.
At what point in my life did I grow up? I don’t remember waking up one day and thinking, “well, I guess this is it. No more kid stuff now.” So why have I become the mother that I said I’d never be? Honestly, I don’t have a clue but I can tell you one thing. Something had to give.
Two weeks ago I made it a goal to get out of the house more. I knew it would be good for the kids and with winter weather approaching we didn’t have much time left. What I didn’t know though was that it benefited more than the kids. I watched as Wyatt splashed in our creek for the first time. His face lit up with excitement and I knew at that moment this wouldn’t be our only adventure.
We explored almost daily and with each passing day I felt a bit different. The more that we did the better I felt. I found myself laughing, goofing off and letting loose in a world that I thought wasn’t possible anymore. I’m seeing the world through the eyes of a child and it’s just as beautiful as I remember. Sometimes I think that’s what we all need even if its just for a little bit. An hour or two of forgetting about the stress and responsibility of everyday life has brought more joy to me than I ever dreamed about.
Yesterday, I was swinging as high as I could go and looking up at the clouds in the sky. I heard Wyatt say, “Mommy! Come play with me!” I jumped and went tumbling in the grass. He laughed at me and I realized that life at this moment was perfect. I later sent my husband a text that read, “I haven’t loved life this much since I was a kid.”
He said, “Like it because it’s good for you.”
He’s right. Maybe some grown ups don’t have fun but I never did and still don’t want to be one of them.