Monday, April 5, 2010

My 'Outer Child'




















  • I remember what it's like to want extra, extra whip cream on my hot chocolate...


  • I remember what it's like to want dessert first and dinner second...


  • I remember what it's like to fly down the hill, standing up on the pedals, and screaming into the wind...


  • I remember what it's like to want breakfast for dinner...


  • I remember what it's like to open a brand new box of crayons and open a brand new coloring book...


  • I remember what it's like to make the whole batch of cookies yourself for the first time...


  • I remember what my mother's hugs felt like...

I love not being grown up all the time. Of course with seven kids between us and our own business, Craig and I have a mountain of responsibility, and we take that seriously. We have a lot of stress too, and it can take its' toll on us, just like everyone else.

But somewhere in my early thirties, after going through some really stressful years, I decided I needed to get back in touch with the wonder and excitement that the simplest things can elicit in a child. It really wasn't difficult. I was on a mission to simplify my life anyway, (an ongoing mission) so I began to take each individual thing and look at it in its' simplest form, searching for the joy inherent in many of life's experiences, (especially where children are concerned). You read a lot about 'Embracing your Inner Child'. I decided to embrace my 'Outer Child'.

Instead of being the parent that pushed my children on the swing, I was the parent on the swing next to them, pumping like mad to keep up and whooping with joy when I got high enough to sail off and land giggling on my feet, triumphant.

Instead of sitting on the sand watching my babies play tag with the incoming surf, I romped right beside them, barefoot, screeching as the ice cold water lapped around my toes, surfing the wind, and embracing the moment in the moment.

Instead of just watching them shoot hoops, I 'braved up' and waded into their games of Horse and Round The World, laughing with them when I missed the easiest shots, asking for pointers, and cheering madly for myself when I unexpectedly sunk a difficult shot.

When Craig and I got together, I decided he needed a lot of 'kiddening up' too...

Instead of giving him a tool or socks or something practical for his 44th birthday last year, I gave my Sweetie a whole slew of Nerf guns and extra ammo. Toys. It took him about the time it takes to get the Nerf out of its' packaging for him to turn into a ten year old boy again and start chasing the 'other' kids around the house in pursuit of what turned into an all-out Nerf war! (The 'Other' kids have Nerf already). For Christmas this year, everyone got Nerf. Now these wars are part of most weekends when all the kids are here ~ Craig and I are right in the middle of it, leaving our responsibilities and stresses behind us as we strategize with our 'teams' about the best way to sink the opponents. It's hilarious! We giggle! We send out the little ones to gather up the opponents ammunition. We tackle each other behind the couch and laugh so hard that if our lieutenants weren't on the ball reloading for us, we'd be done for.

For the two of us, it's a time to see each other as we must have been when we were still kids, before all of life's experiences, and ups and downs turned us into serious, responsible adults. Our kids get to see us as 'kids' too and they will hopefully remember that it's ok, and in fact important, to always find time to PLAY in life!



I think a lot about what things I want to pass on to my children, what values. Embracing the OUTER CHILD is definitely at the top of my list!



Smiles Everyone!
What do you do to embrace your Outer Child?

17 comments:

lissa said...

perhaps I should try that, I always feel I'm too serious for my own good, will have to try it out

Housewife Bliss said...

I agree with you, so well written. I think that one of them any joys of children is that they remind you of your childhood, what it is like to just have fun and let go.... I too like pudding, we sometimes have it for breakfast on special occasions, just to be fun (don't tell the dentist) . I love what you gave your husband for his birthday, really great idea....fathers day is coming up, I will be taking inspiration from this. Thank you

Rochelle said...

I'm going to have give "being a kid" a try - I was even serious when I really WAS a kid so this will be an adventure! Although I have always wanted dessert first. :)

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Rose Brier Studio said...

Julia,
You are my kind of woman! I met my husband at summer camp, so I did get to see the kid in him (we were 20 at the time), but I think my first gift to him was a Lego set!

My mom "invented" backwards dinner one night when we were out and wouldn't make it home before we were all too cranky for words. So we had ice cream first and dinner when we got home. Y'know, because it was a thing, even after our ice cream, my brother, sister & I ate all the food she prepared, including the vegetables!

It's real good to remember the kid in all of us. Thanks for your wonderful post!
~Marilee

Tammie Lee said...

julia,
i love this post, you have made me smile and smile. if play is what we want then play is what we do. swinging is in my top ten favorite things to do! thank you for sharing this.

Heather said...

Hi Julia,
This post made my day!
I am turning 37 tomorrow and I am going to try to live by these words during this next year!

...after I read your post this afternoon, I picked up my kids from school and took them to get ice cream...yes, its 93 degrees here in the northeast....and I had a cone with my girls! i didn't feel guilty, i didn't worry about how many calories it had...I had fun, just having ice cream with no worries...just like my little girls, laughing and giggling.

thanks for a great post, and a great reminder of how to live our lives!

and thanks for the nice words about Q & U.

ps - love your blog!

Heather

Julia Christie said...

A Very Happy Birthday to you Heather! Sounds like so much fun with your daughters - I am surrounded by little boys, but the giggling is just as contageous!
Thanks all for the sweet comments! Have a childishly delightful day! ;-)

Sarah said...

Oh oh oh YAYAYAYAYAY!!!! I loved this post..exactly what I was meaning..that being ok with you thing! I love that you have expanded on your comment hon...wonderful delightful you!!!
As I read your post I kept saying...yes, ME TOO!! The beach the basketball etc. I led a GS troup for several years in my early 30s. An older mom joined as a co leader and promptly started riding me about how imature I was..playing with the kids and being silly! We had a blast together me and me scouts! We also earned more badges and learned more fun stuff than any troop in the area. But ya know...it stopped me for a while..was I imature?...but not for long! You should have seen me teaching at GS camp at 42!! What fun was that!!!
Now kiddifying my hubby...I love that idea..will have to think on that hon!!
Wonderful post!! Hugs and love, Sarah

Julia Christie said...

Sarah, You are my kinda woman! I love that you actually played (isn't that what it's about?) with your GS girls...How they must love you. Think of the difference you made in each of their lives. Thanks for sharing that story. Thumbing my nose as we speak at the gal that told you to 'grow up'! pshaw!!!

BECKY said...

Hi Julia! You left a comment right after mine on Jenny Matlock's blog today. I just wrote a very long, and fabulously interesting comment here, as to why I wanted to contact you, but alas...my laptop decided to freeze up and I lost it! Aacckkk!! I hate that!! Anyway..please check out my blog and you'll see we have common likes in books and music....PLUS, we both have a Thoreau quote at the top of our blog! How great is that?? I do all kinds of silly things to be young...I love to fly kites! I dance and sing around the house! I pretty much do not act my age. And, I'm also a writer! Love your blog!

Katherine ( Katie) Corrigan said...

Being a "grown Up" means acting like a kid whenever we want. We often have dessert first and breakfast for dinner. Life is good, keep making memories! Hugs, Katherine

Jenny said...

Wonderful post! I still order dessert first (probably why I am going to Weight Watchers now...sigh) and I spent the morning doing art in the park with a bunch of preschoolers. They were all quite puzzled about watching a grown up color, play with bubbles and do chalk drawings!

I love it!

Good for you!

Millie said...

Hooray for you & Craig Julia! Even though our boys are in their late 20's & 30's, they still love it when MOTH & I don't act our age. Last year 3 of the boys dragged me along to one the hot nightclubs in town. I had a ball, & apparently it helped the boys out too. 'Mum, all the chicks thought you were so cute, we've never had so many of them hit on us!'
Millie ^_^

Maggie May said...

I LOVE this post.

Julia Christie said...

Hooray for YOU Millie! That's one I can look forward to with my older two. :-)

BECKY said...

Hi Julia. My blog roll showed that you had a new post today, but when I clicked on it, it said something like "page not found". Just thought I'd mention it, but I'm sure you must be aware of it. Did you decide to delete it? Just curious.

Susan said...

Sounds wonderful Julia, what a fun post! I was also looking for your SS post. It shows up on my dashboard but when I click on it, it says it can't be found - it's so weird! I've got to run but will check back again later, I hope I can get to it!