My daughter said to me a few days ago “mom, you really do act like a kid a lot.”
I laughed and said “do I?” with a wink.
See, I have found, in the forty years of my life so far, that to maintain happiness is to maintain that child-like presence. Most kids are grounded in the moment…open to what is happening right then and there. They have a fresh outlook on life that makes them so much less judgmental than adults. They have not been conditioned by this world yet, so maintain a sense of wonder and freedom. And they create joy…they are playful and light…they want to do what feels good to them…as do we all…but they know how to find it:) Kids are honest and straightforward about life, have less worry, and live in a way that makes it more simple and fun.

How often as adults do we take the time to re-connect to our inner child? So many of us are completely lost in the drama and stress of this world we have created…we are creating. Just this morning I got sucked back into the adult thing. I looked at the news. I read about the protests in San Diego over another unarmed black man being killed by police…this is number ? So many in the past year it’s hard to keep count. I read about the police using excessive force/closing in on the peaceful DAPL protesters/water protectors and using tear gas, etc. to then make arrests. I scroll past the countless articles about the ridiculous and insane presidential race we have going on (Seriously, WTF  USA)…and the fear and mudslinging and separation it is creating. I began to feel a tightening in my chest, as my mind started to spin with worry for this world, frustration on wanting change but feeling rather helpless, fear creeping into my heart. I stopped reading the news and turned to my own day…the kitchen is a mess! I need to mop…have to do something with all these apples I got yesterday or they will go bad! Thoughts about relationship and financial pressure spinning into the mix as well. Ugh! This is not why I came here!

Then it was time to wake up my daughters and get my youngest ready for her homeschool-enrichment school day. I walk into their room and gaze at their beautiful, peaceful faces, half-smiling in their sleep. I gently rub Ana’s foot and sing “wake up sleepy-head, it’s time for school.”
She smiles before groggily opening her eyes “Ok mama.”
I help her get dressed, handing her a shirt.
She puts it back, instead choosing one that is more colorful and has a fabric flower with sparkles.
I smile.
As she comes into the kitchen she says “did you remember my little milk?” (her name for the little portable organic vanilla milks she likes so much.)
“Yes” I say, thinking about how she saved it just for her school day, that is only once per week, so is a long time for a 6 year old to wait. She wanted to have something she really loved in her lunchbox:)
As we walk into her school, I notice her shoes are on backwards. I start to say something, but then stop, realizing/remembering she doesn’t care. She is focused on going to do fun things…art and science projects and other fun learning activities. She is excited to see her new little playmate/classmate, who has exchanged letters of friendship confirmation with her, including showers of paper hearts. She is grounded in finding joy and the things that she loves.
I smile.

I came home and decided to write this, because writing feels good to me. I could be doing a million other things that in my adult world “should” be done…but today I am not focused on that world. After I write this, I will go out and sit in the sun with my plants and watch the bees. I will connect with the changing energy of fall. I will give love to my old dog and other animals. I will play some guitar and sing a little. I will work on creative learning projects with my middle daughter. I will make something yummy out of the apples I lovingly harvested and look forward to the deliciousness. I will be playful and light. I will do all these things because they feel good…and that is what I want to experience while I’m here. I may even put on some Grateful Dead and mop the floor, if it feels right;)

I am grateful for my own children because they allow me to see how to re-connect to my own inner child, and maintaining that sense of openness and wonder is what brings me happiness and peace. Take a minute and find the little things that bring you joy. Re-connect to that beautiful child inside and say hi! Have a playdate together. I guarantee it will feel good and will bring you a smile, and we need more of that in this world 🙂

*Update: 5 minutes after I finished writing this, Ana’s teacher called saying she was throwing up. Probably a combination of no breakfast, anticipation of pizza day, and nervousness about a math game (numbers are not her strong point), combined with drinking vanilla milk, sent her over. When I picked her up she was in tears, disappointed about missing the fun day. An opportunity for me to use my own knowledge as an adult and help her navigate and deal with her feelings…good skills to have as she navigates her own adult world later. There is balance to everything:)