Kids Get Joy

Anna, Dad, and silly potato heads

Fun with Anna on my last birthday.

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:

  • Sing.
  • Dance.
  • 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).
  • Color.
  • Paint.
  • 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:

Anna with a bowl on her head.

“Hey, Dad!”

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.

31 Days 2 Happy

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