I already had one happy childhood, but am reliving it through ‘the smalls,’ my grandbabies and young nieces–the crowd I roll with. Consequently I find myself pondering many things, such as the essence of childhood…which I believe is life…truly giving yourself over to play, absorbed in the moment, noticing everything around you from ‘The gorgeous’ as four yr. old grandson Colin calls the sunrise, an event he rarely misses, to the tiniest bug, delighting in kittens, clapping and dancing when happy, one yr old Chloe does this best, and hugs if you’re rejoicing or sad. (Beth and Chloe)
I’m invited to contemplate dragon’s wings and the possibility of flight, while cautioning against the inevitable tumbles. Recently I was entrusted with the mission of contacting the tooth fairy for four yr old granddaughter Emma because, well, who else better to ask than one who believes. She told me her mommy didn’t so it was up to me. She hasn’t actually lost any teeth yet so I have time to ponder that task as well. Emma is also the child who requested a real baby dinosaur, and when told this might present a challenge, threw her hands up and said I had ‘all the way til Christmas.’ Sheesh. No hurry. (*Colin, Ian, and Emma)
Seven yr old Ian invited me on a dragon hunt when he was five. I accepted but was later informed the hunt was off because, sadly, he’d learned they didn’t exist. Does something have to exist in order for us to seek it, I asked. And besides, whose to say they don’t, just because none have been spotted over Virginia in recent years. On with the hunt, I say. (*Ian and niece Cailin)
Ian then decided he would be a crocodile ‘measurer’ when he grew up to see how the crocs compared to the primal sea creature sarcosuchus. Which he could pronounce along with many dinosaur names. Lately he wants to ‘always be a boy and play and fight with swords like Peter Pan in Neverland.’
My highly imaginative niece Cailin, age seven, is an ardent believer in fairies. When given a collection of tiny fairies for Christmas, Cailin looked around in delight seeking someone to share her joy.
“I love fairies,” I proclaimed.
She gave me a look and said, “Of course, you do.” It’s a given.
Cailin also declares she can talk to the animals and they understand each other. She’s a regular on my blog as we have much in common. 🙂
I loved the following quote from ― Madeleine L’Engle, author of A Wrinkle In Time, a much-loved book in this house
“I am still every age that I have been. Because I was once a child, I am always a child. Because I was once a searching adolescent, given to moods and ecstasies, these are still part of me, and always will be… This does not mean that I ought to be trapped or enclosed in any of these ages…the delayed adolescent, the childish adult, but that they are in me to be drawn on; to forget is a form of suicide… Far too many people misunderstand what *putting away childish things* means, and think that forgetting what it is like to think and feel and touch and smell and taste and see and hear like a three-year-old or a thirteen-year-old or a twenty-three-year-old means being grownup.
When I’m with these people I, like the kids, feel that if this is what it means to be a grown-up, then I don’t ever want to be one. Instead of which, if I can retain a child’s awareness and joy, and *be* fifty-one, then I will really learn what it means to be grownup.”
I totally agree with Ms. L’Engle
(Colin and baby Chloe on the bridge over the creek)
“All of us have moments in our childhood where we come alive for the first time. And we go back to those moments and think, This is when I became myself.”
“Arguably, no artist grows up: If he sheds the perceptions of childhood, he ceases being an artist.” Ned Rorem
(*Two yr old Owen in cow costume helping to feed calves, darling beyond words but he doesn’t say a lot yet.)
“[Kids] don’t remember what you try to teach them. They remember what you are.” ― Jim Henson, It’s Not Easy Being Green: And Other Things to Consider
“When we are children we seldom think of the future. This innocence leaves us free to enjoy ourselves as few adults can. The day we fret about the future is the day we leave our childhood behind.” ― Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind
(*Lovely Emma Rose)
“If you carry your childhood with you, you never become older.” ~Tom Stoppard
“Childhood is the most beautiful of all life’s seasons.”