The photo up above is me in grade 5 showing my mom and little brother a handmade book I created in class.
I think back to my childhood; a time when I saw the world through a different lens and dreamed in full color with a wild imagination, endless creativity and so much innocence. Sadly, I lost that sense of wonder in my teens but was fortunate enough to get it back years later. I think as we get older it’s easy to get caught up in what we think we are supposed to do and say. We tend to live for other people and often forget that we have the power to create our own paths, write our own rules and tap into our inner awesomeness. I don’t have a child of my own but I am the Godmother to a few little ones and every time I share special moments with them, I am often reminded of how much I miss being a kid again. If only for a second close your eyes and imagine when we were little girls who were either princesses or tomboys. Speaking of boys, remember when they all had cooties? Or when you had your first crush? I especially miss having little to no responsibility, nap time, kickin’ it on the block with my friends and talking about our dreams, the Spice Girls, and trading pieces from our Pog collection or Pokemon cards. Whoa, throwback. Talk about a trip down memory lane.
“Back in the days when I was young I’m not a kid anymore, but some days I sit and wish I was a kid again.” – Ahmad, Back in the Day, 1994
Kids today are growing up in a totally different world than we did, but believe it or not, there are many wise lessons that we can take away from their experiences.
“Why?” Is a question kids just can’t get enough of. They are so inquisitive and want to know the answers to every damn thing. Sometimes it drives me nuts, but then I have to pinch myself because it’s actually a good thing. Over the years adults, not all but most, get too comfy and often feed on what is told to them by the media, other people etc; rarely expressing an opinion of their own. My favorite author, Sister Souljah, says, “Question things you are taught and encourage yourself to search for answers.” Best advice ever. Kids have a wild imagination and we should learn to tap into ours too.
On occasion I’ve allowed the little ones to dress themselves before heading out for a walk or a play date and it always amazes me how much creativity and originality they put into their wardrobe selection and overall image. One day they may feel like wearing their Peter Pan Halloween costume from last year, the next day a tutu with rain boots . They are true to how they feel and don’t give a damn what anyone else thinks about them because in their eyes, when they look into the mirror, they don’t see imperfection, they just see how awesome they are.
Don’t be judgemental.
(Most) Children are accepting of others. It’s pretty cool that they do not see gender, race, or religion. They see another human being and they notice their best and brightest qualities first. They don’t think bad of people nor do they judge a book by its cover. Imagine what kind of world we’d live in if everyone thought this way?
Laugh a lot and be affectionate.
Even as an adult I try to get at least one good belly laugh in per day. They say, life is a lot better when you’re laughing and it’s so true because embedded in those brief moments is pure happiness and bliss. Kids also teach us about affection towards others. They make a genuine effort to say hello, give you a warm hug and engage you with the most interesting conversations. Have you ever been in an elevator or social gathering where everyone in the space seems very awkward and anxious or distracted by their phones? We’ve lost touch with what it’s like to actually talk to each other, loosen up a bit and connect.
Kids keep their eyes on the prize until eventually they get what they want. Maybe it’s a toy at the store, or a cookie before dinner or an extension on their bedtime. They are the most persistent little buggers I’ve ever seen. They do not quit, ever, and their hustle is pure genius. Without even realizing their strategy, they understand that hidden behind every no is a yes.
Peace & Love,