Jennifer is such a funny, yet grounded person. I think one of her main goals is to make everyone around her as happy as they could be. I love this post where she talks about reconnecting those childhood qualities and activities that bring pure joy.
ORIGINALLY POSTED: JULY 2016
RECAPTURE CHILDHOOD BLISS
If you carry your childhood with you, you never become older. – Tom Stoppard
One of the grooviest things about having kiddos is getting a chance to relive your childhood as they experience theirs for the first time. After all, what’s more blissful than being a kid?! 99% of the time, your only objective is to be happy, have fun and try not to get hit by a car.
My own childhood was filled with bliss over the simplest things. Jumping in piles of autumn leaves, washing my parents’ (totally rad) wood paneled station wagon with the garden hose, playing hide & seek in the front yard till dark, running through the sprinklers on a hot Texas afternoon, and slumber parties with friends where the first person to fall asleep ended up with a frozen training bra. (Sorry about that, Mary Anne.)
Now I watch my son, Jack, exude that same bliss I so fondly remember. It oozes from every pore. The way he joyously devours a chocolate ice cream cone, his hysterical laughter as the waves chase his feet on the sand, his pleas to stay in the pool longer so he can jump in “just one more time,” and his squeals of delight splashing in the fountains downtown. His joy is utterly infectious and makes me long to be a kid again.
So why don’t we do it? Yes, I’m talking to you. Uh huh, you! Why don’t you and I and all of us promise to make more time to incorporate play into our lives. After all, we’re still kids at heart, right? Those inner children of ours are just begging to come out, come out wherever they are! I believe recapturing the bliss of childhood is not only great for our hearts and minds, but it’s essential for our souls. Here are some swell ideas to get us started:
Host a game night with friends. Serve cocktails and appetizers inspired by some of your childhood favorites. Drink with crazy straws, eat off Star Wars paper plates, dole out Pop Rocks for dessert.
Reread your most beloved childhood books. But skip the Kindle and buy the real deal. (It’s true, they still make books!) Feel the smoothness of the paper in your hands and smell the pages. It will instantly take you back. Plus, as you read children’s books as an adult, you’ll likely rediscover some important principles and lessons about life you’d forgotten.
Throw an “unbirthday” party. Why wait for your actual birthday to come around when you can celebrate “you” any day of the year! Head to your favorite park, spot on the beach or even your very own backyard. Think crazy Mad Hatter-ish hats for your guests, bright colored picnic blankets, different flavored (read: spiked) teas served in funky tea cups, and plenty of those addictive little sandwiches.
Play with toys. You read that right. Toys. Okay, so maybe you don’t pull Barbie out of your bag during a staff meeting, ca-reepy! But pick up a Rubik’s Cube, a Lego inspired nightlight you can redesign every night, a gigantic Jenga, a scooter for adults, make something with kinetic sand, or take your best shot with a rousing game of cornhole.
Go to a theme park. If you don’t have a Disneyland or Six Flags near you, be on the lookout for local fairs and carnivals that come through town. Ride the coasters and scream like a banshee, play the all midway games, and screw that diet for one day – eat corn dogs, fried Oreos and funnel cakes like a boss!
Camp out in the backyard. Do it up, y’all! We’re talking tents, sleeping bags under the stars, creepy-ass ghost stories and of course, oodles of s’mores! Step up your s’mores game by using gourmet chocolate instead of regular old Hershey’s.
Sign up for a messy race. Look into local mud runs or color runs – the messier the better! After all, you’re trying to recapture the spirit of that little kid who once wore dirt and grime as a badge of honor.
Check out Well Played: The Ultimate Guide to Awakening Your Family’s Playful Spirit by Meredith Sinclair. I just started reading it and it has some super creative ideas for adding more playfulness into your life with your kids, your partner and even yourself.
Tag, you’re it! How do you add more play into your life? We’d love to know in the comments below.