Last night I had some extra time on my way to a meeting so I decided to grab a tea at our local coffee shop and enjoy the beautiful fall evening. My meanderings landed me at the elementary school playground, where the swings were completely empty. There was a football practice on the adjacent field and several kids were playing on the monkey bars and slides, supervised by bored parents. Almost compelled, I set down my tea, purse and folder and grabbed a swing.
I’m sure I was quite a sight: a forty-seven year-old woman gleefully swinging on a swing, alone. But it was just that: gleeful. I started slowly, a little apprehensive, but then found myself pumping and trying to get as high as I could, finding that my stomach was not used to the movement and the tickle almost made me giggle. Giggle.
What an unexpected release it was, to be childlike, if only for a few minutes. To forget, for a few minutes, about the fight I had just had with my defiant teenager, the bills I paid the day before with not a lot of money. You know, the overall weight of adult life. I went to my meeting refreshed and a little lighter.
I began to wonder: what can we do to incorporate childhood, and this lightness, into our everyday lives? Lay in the grass and watch the clouds, eat cookies and milk, jump in the leaves, blow bubbles, take a nap? Or swing on a random swing that seems to beckon.
Whatever it is, I recommend that when childhood does beckon, listen. Be silly, be free, feel the tickle in your stomach. Giggle. You will totally love it. Just sayin.’