A year ago February, I wrote a short piece on this blog titled Observations from the Mall Play Area. I spent a lot of time writing there while my daughter played with the other kids, and that day I was grasping for a topic and wrote what I saw.
It was a fun little post—I wasn’t aiming for profundity—but at the end I stumbled over a pebble of wisdom:
5) Kids can entertain themselves for hours by running in circles. Chasing each other makes this activity even more fun. It starts with a couple of kids—Anna often gets it going—then in no time five or six kids are running laps and laughing. When I see them I understand why Jesus said that “unless you . . . become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3 NRSV) He was talking about joy. Kids get joy.
Kids get joy. That phrase has stuck with me. and I see so many examples of it when I watch Anna play.
Me? I’m still a kid at heart, but I can get depressed at times. The happy times have always been happier for me, but the sad times have been sadder too. Sometimes it’s hard to pull out of a deep funk; Anna makes it a little easier.
So when I find myself dragging, I find that the best way to get past it is to put it aside and do whatever Anna is doing:
- Make silly faces.
- Jump up and down.
- Run in circles.
- Play hide and seek.
- Read stories in character.
- Make up stories with her puppets (also in character).
- Play with PlayDoh.
- Make silly Potato Heads.
It is a blast playing with my kid and I can never be around her for long without smiling and laughing. Because sooner or later she’ll do something unexpected and silly:
Something like that.
Today I’m part of the festivities at 31 Days 2 Happy on Elizabeth Esther’s Blog. Check out some of the other posts and get ready to smile some more.